Monday, July 9, 2012
The Japanese dragon is usually depicted as a wingless, heavily scaled snake-like creature with small, clawed legs and a camel shaped head with horns. It is associated with sea, clouds or the heavens. It has whiskers and a beard, and it is deaf. In the West we think of dragons as terrifying beasts, but in Japan the dragon symbolises wealth, good fortune, good luck, kindness, power and freedom.
The good luck stems from the fact that the Japanese dragon is a "water symbol", living either in the clouds, climbing down during thunderstorms, or in rivers and lakes. Water is an element of enormous importance for the cultivation of rice in both China and Japan so, because of its ability to bring down the rain, it was revered. Thus dragons are highly respected and admired in both China and Japan. In the Western Culture however, because of the association with the snake, the dragon symbolises evil and they were routinely hunted down, fought and killed.
Posted by art at 9:09 PM