THE JAPANESE DRAGON

The dragon figure is very old in Japan. These animals are very present in Japanese mythology even if the stories are not only Japanese but have also been influenced by China, Korea and India.
In European literature dragons were evil creatures while in Asian culture they represent a positive aspect, they are in fact a symbol of strength, wisdom and longevity.
In Japan their figure is linked to water, a deity, therefore, linked to rain. In the modern Japanese language many words are used to identify these fabulous creatures such as: tatsu from ancient Japanese, ryu or ryo from Chinese and Dragon from English.
The influence of Chinese mythology was very strong. To represent these mythological animals Japanese and Chinese elements have combined. Many words to say "dragon" are written in Chinese characters, it seems that the number of claws on the legs indicates Chinese or Japanese dragons, in Japan this animal has three claws, in Chinese mythology it has four or five.
During the Second World War the Chinese army gave the name of Chinese dragons to armaments. For example, the name Koryu was given to a submarine or Shinryu to a kamikaze plane. With the arrival of Buddhism in Japan, Asian monks also brought the tradition of these creatures, so it was that their figure was also associated with Buddhist and Hindu mythology. Dragons originating from India often passed first from China and then were absorbed by Japanese culture., For this reason in the world of Japanese mythology we often find the fusion of Chinese and Indian elements. This mythological figure is also associated with Buddhist temples, we remember the Ryoan-ji, the temple of the dragon of peace.
The Shinto was affected by the influence of this mythological animal. In 1185 there was a great earthquake in Japan and the Japanese attributed its origin to the powers of the dragon Antoku. But these mythological figures in addition to being religious symbols have also inspired architecture, art, literature and popular culture. We remember Dragon Ball, a famous manga created in 1985 by Akira Toriyama. And how not to know the dragon-shaped tattoos that are widespread in Japan and the rest of the world.
In Japanese mythology it is believed that the first emperor was a descendant of dragons. In Japan, this creature has no wings, is snake-shaped, has tiger paws, eagle claws and long whiskers. To tattoo a dragon the best places, when it comes to large dimensions, are the back and the arm while for a small figure the scapula, shoulders or calf are recommended. In the world of tattoos the male is represented with his mouth open while the female with his mouth closed. Very important is the color of the tattoos.
The Black Dragon is thus depicted when he is less than 100 years old and carries only the orders of his superiors. The Blue Dragon is the messenger of the gods, protects against diseases and natural disasters.
The Green Dragon is over 100 years old and bodes well. The Golden Dragon is 1000 years old and the wearer appears to have the power to achieve immortality. 
Advertisement

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Elena Delle Selve
    Sep 09, 2022 @ 09:19:52

    Solo in Italia e solo ultimamente la mitologica figura del drago richiama tempi di povertà e sventura… è proprio vero che a volte i nomi non rendono bene l’indole di chi li porta. Hai scelto delle immagini magnifiche!!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: