Tengu are a type of legendary creature found in Japanese folk religion. They are considered a type of yōkai or Shinto kami (gods). The tengu were originally thought to take the forms of birds of prey, and they are traditionally depicted with both human and avian characteristics. The earliest tengu were pictured with beaks, but this feature has often been humanized as an unnaturally long nose, which today is widely considered the tengu's defining characteristic in the popular imagination. They are also thought to be a parallel to the Garuda ; a legendary bird or bird-like creature in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain mythology, and influenced by Sarutahiko Ōkami, a native Shinto deity.