Eastern dragons, mainly belonging to China, Korea and Japan, are known to have been formed with different body parts from various animals. With a belly as fluffy and slithery as a frog, they have a snake’s body, a carp’s scales, a camel’s head, a giant stag’s horns, a hare’s eyes, a bull’s ears, an iguana’s neck, a tiger’s paws and an eagle’s claws. However, each dragon belonging to Korea, Japan and China have varied physical traits.
Different Types of Eastern Dragons
The Chinese firmly believe that the origin of Eastern dragons was in China and that they had five toes at the time of their origin. The dragons started to lose their toes as they started to fly farther east which explains why Korean dragons have four toes and Japanese dragons have three. On the other hand, the Japanese believed that dragons originated in Japan and they initially had three toes which started to increase as they flew farther west. Japanese dragons breathe out clouds. The nine types of Chinese dragons are the horned dragon, the winged dragon, the spiritual dragon, the coiling dragon, the celestial dragon, the yellow dragon, the dragon of hidden treasures, and the dragon king. The Eastern dragons are not technically able to fly as they don’t possess wings. However, their magical prowess helps them to sometimes ‘fly by magic’.
Life Cycles of Dragons
Dragons were born as water snakes and remained that for five hundred years after their birth. Gradually, they turned into scaled creatures, or Chiaos, for another five hundred years, when they had aged around thousand years! Chiaos finally turned into dragons with scales when they aged further. Beyond the thousand and five hundred years, dragons evolve rapidly and become Lung dragons. Lungs are hornless and symbolize scholars. They started growing horns in another five hundred years and looked much wiser by then. In another thousand years, Lung dragons finally evolved into winged but scale-less dragons – the kind that we generally find in dragon stories and dragon games today.
Fun Facts about Eastern Dragons
Since Eastern dragons exhale clouds, they are considered to be the source of rain. Chinese dragons are revered as demi-gods in the society. If humans fail to appease dragons, they are at a threat of floods that can be cause by the demi-gods.
The only creatures that the dragons fear are tigers. This fear might be a fallout of their positions in the Chinese zodiacs – they are placed opposite to each other.
Eastern dragons have been known to transform themselves easily into humans, and the best-looking of the race. The benevolent race of dragons gives others a chance to transform themselves too! It is said that there is a gate on the Yellow River where there is high current and tide on one side and dragon land on the other. If fish can swim through the current and the tide and successfully reach the other side of the gate, they transform themselves into dragons almost instantaneously!
- Dragons: Where Did They Come From? (fsu.uloop.com)