Lung Dragon, the Chinese Dragon
of reading - words
There are four main families of Asian dragons: the Japanese dragon, the Korean dragon, the Vietnamese dragon and the Chinese dragon. So, I'm going to talk briefly about the Japanese and Korean dragons, talk extensively about the Chinese dragon and ship Vietnamese (because "it wasn't my war!").
The Vietnamese dragon, called Rồng (the serious accent is on the n, don't ask me how it is pronounced), is the basis of everything for the inhabitants, especially themselves. Initially derived from crocodiles and snakes, it was later strongly influenced by the Chinese dragon. It represents rain (essential for agriculture), the emperor and the principle of life that is growth. It is the most sacred figure. There you go. I warned you, I'm shipping this one.
Now we're getting into the stuffiest part of the article. The Chinese dragon, the Long, is the one that inspires all the other Asian dragons - with a few details, we can say that they are all copied and pasted on the Long. Although its exact shape varies with time, it can nevertheless be said that it has a serpentine body and a mouth in which it is better not to kiss or risk losing a piece. Roughly speaking, he wears a snake body, tiger legs with eagle claws, demon eyes, sensory mustaches, a good beard and deer antlers. It has no wings but is able to fly thanks to the ridge that lace its entire back from head to tail.
To make it even simpler, if you see what the Dragon Ball dragon looks like, then you know what the Long looks like. We will notice that this "fictional" dragon is called Shenron in Japanese (dragon king) but that in Chinese, it is called Shen Long (not surprising since Dragon Ball is an adaptation of a famous Chinese tale that I hope to share with you later). And the connection does not stop there because the Long has a very precious and powerful artifact that brings happiness, wisdom, abundance and knowledge to the lucky one who holds it: a crystal ball that he keeps in the folds of his chin or straight in his throat (for those who ignore it, Shenron can only be invoked with seven crystal balls in the manga).
Unlike the Western dragon, the Chinese dragon does not look like a dragon from birth. It already takes his egg no less than 1000 years to hatch from an aquatic snake and it will take him some 5500 years of maturation and transformation to reach adulthood and the form I have just described. Not to mention the possibility that a carp could become a dragon as stated in my previous article on the Dragon Gate. In short, it is not easy to become a dragon, we already knew that. Also, by their rarity and power, there is a legion of dragons in the Chinese pantheon, some of whom stand out from the crowd: Tian-long, the heavenly dragon, is the guardian of the divine mansions and the protector of the heavens, sometimes carrying the palaces of the gods on his back to keep them in the air; Shen-long, the "spiritual dragon", is a dragon with scales of azure making the rain fall by walking on the clouds and thus fertilizing the earth, but can also cause disasters (so it is worshipped as much as feared), let us note that it was the symbol of the emperor and that no one else could display its emblem; Di-long, the land dragon, is the master of springs and rivers; Fu-zang long is the guardian dragon of treasures, protector of precious stones and metals buried within the earth; Huanglong, the yellow dragon or horse-dragon, is the divine messenger; and Long wang is designated as the Dragon King.
The Korean dragon, the Yong, is similar to its Chinese cousin except that it is exclusively linked to rain and agriculture and its orb is held in its hand. This orb called the Yeo-ui-ju allows the dragon holding the omnipotence and creation; only those who have four fingers (the fourth, it is the thumb that closes the grip of its leg on the ball) can have one.
The Japanese dragon, the Ryū (yes, the same as in the Rozan Shô Ryū Ha of Shiryu in Saint Seiya, and also in the latter's name), is very similar to its counterparts. It represents water bodies (especially the sea), clouds and the sky. It is distinguished by the fact that it has only three fingers on each leg and flies less than other Asian dragons.
So much for this article that took me a long time. I hope you enjoyed it, and while waiting for your feedback, I give you my leave.