Marvels of Japan


Guardian in Todaiji, Nara
Guardian in Todaiji, Nara (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Marvels of Japan

The third and last Pinterest link for anyone interested in Japanese culture. This is the quintessential link for Japanophiles from me to you. Enjoy!

Heavenly Dragons A Pinterest Board


Eastern Dragons

Heavenly Dragons A Pinterest Board

Lately, I have started using Pinterest and have found it a lot of fun! Here is one of my links that I thought followers of my Oriental wordpress blog might enjoy.

What does the Year of the Yang Water Dragon entail?


English: A Chinese dragon; a medallion above i...
Image via Wikipedia
龙风筝
Image via Wikipedia

Water covers 2/3 of Planet Earth. The human body is comprises 95% of water. Neither the Earth or humankind can survive without water. Water  is also the natural element of the Chinese dragon. The dragon governs wealth and accumulation of wealth. Associated with thunder, lightning, and creativity at its best.

Water Dragons occur every 60 years. The last one was in 1952. The next one will be in 2072. Officially, the Chinese New Year starts on January 23 and ends February 9 of the following year.

The dragon moon for 2012 is from May 20 (new moon) to June 18. The dragon full moon falls on June 4.

The Five Elements Associated with the Year of the Dragon

  • 16 February 1904 – 3 February 1905: Wood Dragon
  • 3 February 1916 – 22 January 1917: Fire Dragon
  • 23 January 1928 – 9 February 1929: Earth Dragon
  • 8 February 1940 – 26 January 1941: Metal Dragon
  • 27 January 1952 – 13 February 1953: Water Dragon
  • 13 February 1964 – 1 February 1965: Wood Dragon
  • 31 January 1976 – 17 February 1977: Fire Dragon
  • 17 February 1988 – 5 February 1989: Earth Dragon
  • 5 February 2000 – 23 January 2001: Metal Dragon
  • 23 January 2012 – 9 February 2013: Water Dragon
  • 10 February 2024 – 28 January 2025: Wood Dragon
Attributes:
Zodiac Location:   5th
Ruling Hours:   7 am-9 am
Direction:   East-Southeast
Birthstone:   Ruby
Roughly the equivalent Western Sign:   Aries
Characteristics:
Considered the mightiest of all the zodiac signs, the Dragon symbolizes dominance and ambition. They are passionate and live by their own rules. Dragons are also driven and unafraid to take risks.
Want to know more about the Chinese Year and Element you were born under, click this site.
Enjoy!

References:

Water Dragon Inc.:   http://www.waterdragoninc.com/Feng%20Shui%202012.html

Dragon Zodiac:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_(zodiac)

Chinese Zodiac: Dragon:   http://www.chinesezodiac.com/dragon.php

A dragon in Forbidden City, Beijing.
Image via Wikipedia

The Language of the Dragons


Since it is the glorious “Year of the Water Dragon”, and because I adore Asian dragons, I will probably devote many blogs to them… dragons, I mean, this year (2012). Here is a site from another WordPress blogger that so delighted me that I had to share it. I know you will love it as well. Don’t forget to check out the YouTube video on their site as well. Fantastic!

The Language of the Dragons:   http://yaywords.wordpress.com/projects/the-language-of-dragons/#comment-456

I even wrote a haiku for the occasion:

Water dragon lives

at the bottom of the sea.

Wise, mysterious…

Watasumi Sanjin: Legendary Dragon


 Monument of the Legend of Izumi Kotaro in the Omachi Dam lakeside park.                   (See larger image at this link.) http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestand:Izumi_Kotaro_statue_in_Lake_Ryujin.jpg

Dragons are big news in Japan and have been so for a very long time. The most ancient of them all is Watasumi Sanjin, also known as Ryujin, who ruled the upper, middle and lower sea. Named the “Great Watatsumi  (sea) god” in the Kojiki, the oldest chronicle of Japanese myths and compared to the mountain god, Ohoyamatsumi.  The deity, Izanagi–who escaped from Yomi, the underworld created Watasumi along with the Sun and the Moon and nine other gods in Japanese mythology.

Watasumi has Shinto Shrines throughout Japan dedicated to him. Ōwatatsumi jinja or Daikai Jinja, in Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka, the Watatsumi Jinja in Tarumi-ku, Kobe, and the Watatsumi Jinja in Kokura Minami-ku, Kitakyūshū.

File:Watatusmi-Jinja.JPGTarumi-ku, Kobe

File:Owatatsumi-jinja2.JPGSumiyoshi-ku, Osaka

Watasumi Sanjin is just one more reason to read Legend of the Cherry Jewel, the urban fantasy action/adventure, set in Japan, when is comes out next year.

(Coming soon to Amazon.com, but you can read the first chapter of Legend of the Cherry Jewel here at: http://lediarunnels27221912.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/legend-of-the-cherry-jewel-chapter-one-lost-and-found/

RELATED LINKS

Dragons of the Orient “Hengeyokai” Shape-shifters http://lediarunnels27221912.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/dragons-of-the-orient-hengeyokai-shape-shifters/

Watasumi  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watatsumi

Sumiyoshi sanjin   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumiyoshi_sanjin

Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumiyoshi-ku,_Osaka

Tarumi-ku, Kobe   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarumi-ku,_KobeTarumi-ku, Kobe

Dragons of the Orient “Hengeyokai” Shape-shifters


Japanese Dragon shrine in Fujiyoshida.
Japanese Dragon Shrine in Fujiyoshida

The awesome Dragon of the orient is sacred, beautiful, and blessed with infinite wisdom and vast knowledge. They are playful by nature, but also have the capacity to destroy entire cities with one swipe of their mighty claws and terrifying magic. They are associated with wealth, water and wisdom. All humans desire wealth, whether they admit to it or not. Water is necessary to sustain life on Earth, and wisdom is something we all seek after.

The Dragons of the orient have long, thin bodies, covered in rainbow-hued scales that are strong as steel and magnificently beautiful to behold. They have no wings and instead can bound from the Earth to the Heavens in a single leap. Their heads resemble horses with great billowing whiskers, like a mighty tiger’s, sprouting from their lips. They hear through a pair of horns worn atop their heads like crowns.

When a Dragon of the orient speaks, their voice is like the jingling of coins, yet they possess a melodic quality unequaled by mortal musicians. Closely linked to the elements of water and air, they were originally created from the storms that lashed the earth a the beginnings of creation. In fact, these Dragons love storms so much that they play inside great typhoons. Their claws slash the ground along with the lightning that streaks from their eyes. Their breath creates great clouds that sail into the sky while rain is formed from the pressure of their feet squeezing water from the clouds as they climb into the sky. The wind itself comes from the passing of their breath as they move.

They are known for their wealth and their generosity with humans they are fond of. They are also known to pay unfathomable riches for the freedom to rule the skies. They are especially fond of pearls and will go to great lengths to gain possession of these gems of the sea. Many a human, who has gained favor with a Dragon of the orient, has been presented with pearls that possess magical abilities.

Their king is Ryu-Jin, the greatest and wealthiest of all the Dragons of the orient. Ryu-Jin’s palace is located at the bottom of the ocean, made from crystal and held upright by magnificent jade pillars, encompassed by walls laced with coral and, of course, pearls. Every day precious stones wash down into his palace from the mountains near the seashores. The stones are so numerous that they pile up like mounds of sand that mingle with great piles of magical trinkets and artifacts that litter his palace.

High in the mountains of the Orient is a secret place with a waterfall known as the Dragon Gate. This is the birthplace of all, but the first dragons and is said to lead to their magical domain.

Dragons can take human form and often come in the guise of a humble scholar. In this form, they have been known to sire children that may or may not have the capacity to shape-shift from human to dragon form. Though not all are born with this ability, they all are physically perfect with unblemished skin, sparkling green eyes and flowing black hair. And there is within them all some level of the Dragon’s magic.

MORE

File:Dragonn4.jpg

Japanese Dragon fountain in Hakone

 

Kiyohime changes from a Serpent, by Yoshitoshi...
Image via Wikipedia

Kiyohime changes from a Serpent, by Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

 

File:Tamatori being pursued bya dragon.jpgThe ama diver Princess Tamatori steals the Dragon King’s jewel, byUtagawa Kuniyoshi

File:One of the daughters of the dragon king who lives in then bottom of the sea.jpgThe Dragon King’s daughter, by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

File:Kunisada II The Dragon.jpgThe Buddha riding a sea-dragon, by Kunisada.

File:Kuniyoshi Utagawa, Dragon 2.jpgSea-dragon, by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

LINKS

AD&D Character Race:

Hengeyokaihttp://www.mjyoung.net/dungeon/char/race007.html

The World of Darkness Wiki: Hengeyokai

http://wiki.white-wolf.com/worldofdarkness/index.php?title=Hengeyokai

Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia: Yōkai

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y%C5%8Dkai

Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia: Japanese Dragon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_dragon

The “Roaring Dragon” of Shokoku-ji Temple (Kyoto, Japan)


Kyoto imperial palace garden in Kyoto, Japan
Image via Wikipedia

You enter the temple. An eerie quiet surrounds the few pilgrims, besides you, inside the hall of the inner sanctum. Yet it feels as if someone or something is watching from above. Your gaze travels toward the ceiling where a giant dragon is coiled in painted wood above your head. While you stand transfixed, yours and the creature’s eyes lock.

Then the unthinkable occurs. Someone claps their hands disturbing the peace of the sanctified place. Before righteous indignation registers, an amazing thing takes place. The dragon, in all its Imperial majesty, roars.

You cannot believe it. A trick of imagination and the awesome surroundings must have caused the breathtaking phenomena. Yet, another clap summons the dragon once again and you smile.

“So this is what calls the creature to wake.”

You hear someone whisper that the sound is a reverberating echo traveling between the parallel planes of the floor and the ceiling. A subtle overlapping of acoustic reflections is what brings the dragon to life. Still, you clap your hands knowing the sea god, Ryujin has communicated to you on a mystical level that words cannot express.

Facts:

Located in the old neighborhood near Doshisha University, just north of the Imperial Palace.

The Main Hall was completed 1394 by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358-1408).

Destroyed by fire and rebuilt many times, only the Dharma Hall and the Imperial Gate are what is left of the original structures.

A Zen sect temple, Shokokuji has treasures and cultural collections displayed in the Shotenkaku Museum, onsite.

References:

Kansai Window: Japanese Architecture in Kansai, Echoes, “The Secret of the Dragon and the Mysterious Urns”       http://www.kippo.or.jp/e/culture/build/archi.html

Draconian.com: “Dragon Sculptures, The “roaring dragon” of Sokoku-ji” http://www.draconian.com/dragons/dragon-sculptures.php