Dragons of Chinese mythology have the body of a snakethe mane of a lion, antlers and four legs. Although they are generally considered good creatures as opposed to Western Dragonsthey should be viewed as neutral beings that can bring destruction when enraged. A noticeable aspect of its face is the barbels, an important organ that allows balance and orientation in the air and against wind currents.
The Chinese dragon is a mythological animal that since the beginning of Chinese civilization, is considered as the symbol of the Chinese people. Although, with the arrival of communism to power was attempted to establish the panda as a symbol of the Chinese nation, is still considered by many the most representative symbol of the country. It can be said that it brings together several animals in itself.
Japanese dragon myths amalgamate native legends with imported stories about dragons from ChinaKorea and Vietnam. The style of the dragon was heavily influenced by the Chinese dragon. Like these other East Asian dragons, most Japanese ones are water deities associated with rainfall and bodies of water, and are typically depicted as large, wingless, serpentine creatures with clawed feet.
Ghosts, demons, and spirits are the most popular creatures often associated with Japanese mythology but are far from being the only beings present. A lesser known entity is the Japanese dragon, which usually lives in water and shapeshifts into a man, if not a beautiful woman. A common misconception when it comes to dragons is that all of them are exactly the same throughout Asia.
In ancient China, dragons were not just an important symbol, but they represented the bloodline of Chinese royalty. Throughout ancient China, dragons are depicted in temple architecture and numerous artifacts. Considered by the modern western world to be dragon myths, ancient Chinese history contradicts this view.
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The Chinese dragon spelled Long, Loong, or Lung in transliterationis a Chinese mythical creature that also appears in other East Asian cultures, and thus is also sometimes called the Oriental or Eastern dragon. Unlike the Western dragon of Europe that is representative of evilthe many eastern versions of the dragon are powerful spiritual symbols, representing seasonal cycles and supernatural forces. The Chinese dragon is easily recognizable for its long serpentine body that is generally wingless, and its anthropomorphic face, complete with beard.
The Chinese dragon like the Indian Naga's, are often associated with water and rain and lakes and rivers. Chinese Dragons are divine mythical creatures that brings with it ultimate abundance, prosperity and good fortune. Unlike the the negative aspect associated with Western Dragons, most Eastern Dragons are beautiful, friendly, and wise. They are the angels of the Orient.
Like all these Asian dragons, it is shown without wings, has legs with clawsand usually lives in the ocean, the clouds, or heavens. Japanese dragons do not fly as often as the Chinese one, which is the reason why they usually appear much more like serpents. Japanese dragons usually live in the sea.
Originally a rain divinity, the Chinese dragon, unlike its malevolent European counterpart see dragonis associated with heavenly beneficence and fecundity. Rain rituals as early as the 6th century bce involved a dragon image animated by a procession of dancers; similar dances are still practiced in traditional Chinese communities to secure good fortune. Ancient Chinese cosmogonists defined four types of dragons: the Celestial Dragon Tianlongwho guards the heavenly dwellings of the gods; the Dragon of Hidden Treasure Fuzanglong ; the Earth Dragon Dilongwho controls the waterways; and the Spiritual Dragon Shenlongwho controls the rain and winds. In popular belief only the latter two were significant; they were transformed into the Dragon Kings Longwanggods who lived in the four oceans, delivered rain, and protected seafarers.