Wednesday, April 25, 2012

History of Dragon Tattoos and Its Symbolism

Dragons are mythological creatures and are interpreted in different ways in the Eastern and Western civilization. Dragons can be simple black or colourful in design, the best part about dragon tattoos are that they are fluidly drawn with no sharp edges or corner so can be inked into the body anywhere. Men usually prefer dragon tattoos either across their back, side or arms. The name dragon is derived from the Greek word "draca" which interprets as snake. Dragons can be associated with honour, protection, power, wisdom, and warrior-like qualities, fierceness and guardianship as well as diabolical, evil and dangerous.

In China, they represented good will, luck and honour. In Japan, they represented the balance in life or the yin and yang. The Celts associated dragons with strength and power. Only the ancient westerners believed that they represented something evil and destructive; usually it was believed to be a noble beast in the East and associated with intelligence and freedom. This is why Chinese, Japanese and Celtic dragon tattoos are very common and popular as westerners portrayed dragons as evil beasts that captured innocent people and had to be slayed for peace to rein.

In Chinese culture, the number nine is considered great and often associated with dragons. The imperial Chinese palace and garden has the Nine Dragon Walls in it and the senior-most officials are only allowed to have nine dragons on their robes, this specifies their importance and status. Chinese dragons have scales all over and have a snake-like body with a flaming pearl underneath their chin. Chinese dragons that are horned represent might in both words and actions. Earth dragon has a connection with land or Earth. Yellow dragons do not possess any horns are represent scholarly knowledge and Celestial dragons are protectors of the gods.

In Japanese culture, dragons are highly revered. They were believed to be one of their water deities. It was believed that the first emperor of Japan was a descendent of the dragon. In Japan, they represent protection of the royal family and Japanese dragons have no wings but have a snake-like body, camel-like head, tiger-like paws, eagle-like claws, scaly and have whiskers and jewels underneath their chin. There are six types of dragons in Japan.

• Sui-Riu, who is the king of dragons and controls rain
• Han-Riu, is the largest dragon and has stripes on his body
• Ka-Riu, Small red dragon
• Fuku-Riu, indicates luck

The colours of the dragons also represent many things. Black ones are old and wise, green are small but represent land or Earth, golden ones represent wisdom and goodness, yellow are excellent companions and blue ones are tolerant and compassionate. This is why people choose to get dragon tattoos done.

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