Ryujin, dragon god of the seas, Kami of Japanese mythology

God, Japanese Dragons, Mythology -

Ryujin, dragon god of the seas, Kami of Japanese mythology

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  • Belonging to the kami, Ryujin is the Japanese dragon god.

Introduction to the Dragon God of the Seas

A god associated with the sea and the power of the oceans, the Kami Ryujin is the largest dragon in Japanese mythology.

  • Description of the dragon

It appears as a huge dragon, in Japanese form and representation, either with a long body like that of a snake, covered with scales, a long moustache, a beard and with its legs with three claws.


Ryujin, The Dragon from the Sea

He lives at the bottom of the ocean in the Ryugu-jo, a huge palace made of rushes, white and red corals, where sea turtles, fish and jellyfish are his servants. From these places, he controls the tides with jewels, which also serve as decorations for the palace.


Sometimes it takes on a human form, which earned it a life on the surface. Thus he became the father of the goddess Otohime, who married the hunter prince Hoori, a descendant of Amaterasu. From their union was born Ugayafukiaezu, whose son Jimmu-Tenno became Japan's first emperor. This is the reason why emperors claim to be descendants of the Kami and more particularly of Amaterasu and Ryujin.

  • The story of the jellyfish

The most famous story about Ryuji is that of the jellyfish (or octopus in some versions) and the monkey. One day, Ryujin asked the jellyfish, which still had bones, a tail and feet, a monkey liver. According to the versions, the dragon god asked this to heal from an evil Otohime or himself from an incurable evil.


The jellyfish brought the monkey back to Ryujin's palace and there he understood the fate that awaited him. Also, he told the jellyfish that his liver was too heavy, so he hid it in a tree. He proposed to go get him and the jellyfish accompanied him. Of course, once we arrived in front of the tree, there was no hidden liver, the monkey claiming that he had been robbed and that he was going to find the thieves to recover it.


In the meantime, the jellyfish returned to Ryujin and explained the situation to him. The dragon not being fooled, he immediately understood that the monkey had played the jellyfish. Furious he crushed her to the point of losing all her bones, giving her the shape that we know today of jellyfish.

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