Jump to content


Photo
* * * * - 2 votes

Dragons Long 龍 龙


  • Please log in to reply
181 replies to this topic

#1 Ghost_of_Han

Ghost_of_Han

    Grand Mentor (Taishi 太师)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 439 posts
  • Location:Michigan
  • Interests:Chinese History, and Chinese
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History

Posted 05 June 2004 - 07:18 AM

The Ancient Chinese Dragon is said to be made up of other animal, The horns of a deer, the head of a camel, the neck of a snake; the body of a crocodile, the scales of a carp, the claws of an eagle; the paws of a tiger; and the ears of an ox. I forget what the eyes were. The emperor used to sleep on beds called Dragons Couches. And the Dragon Robe was one of the most exquisite pieces of chinese clothing. I have couple things I’d like to ask:

What is the story behind the Chinese Dragon and the Rain? (Something about them invoking the rain or what not)

Why did the emperor call his bed the dragon couch?

And if anyone has any more interesting information, legends myths, stories please share them.

#2 General_Zhaoyun

General_Zhaoyun

    Grand Valiant General of Imperial Han Army

  • Owner
  • 12,281 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Singapore (Taiwanese/Singapore Permanent Resident)
  • Interests:Chinese History, Chinese Philosophy and Religion, Chinese languages, Minnan/Taiwanese language, Classical Chinese, General Chinese Culture
  • Languages spoken:Mandarin, Taiwanese (Hokkien), English, German, Singlish
  • Ethnic Groups or Race:Han Chinese (Taiwanese Hoklo)
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    General Chinese Culture
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Chinese Language, History and Culture

Posted 05 June 2004 - 08:19 AM

What is the story behind the Chinese Dragon and the Rain? (Something about them invoking the rain or what not)

The dragon is an identity for chinese. China is said to be the home to dragon.
The chinese dragon is a legendary animal which is long in body, has a big mouth and has many horns. It also has supernatural godly power. Dragon symbolises "luck", "fortune" and "divinity".

Ever since ancient times, the dragon has been treated as a god, who will bring luck as well as 'rain' for farms and agriculture. This was largely an influence of buddhism and taoism. In fact, the dragon god is also called the dragon king (or 'Long wang'). Peasants will worship and pray to the dragon king for their rain as well as making the wind pleasant, which was good for crops and blessing. Emperors will pray to dragon king for keeping their empire stable and secure.

In China, there were temples built to worship the dragon king, and whenever there is anything to do with 'water' or 'rain', there will be dragon king temples.


Why did the emperor call his bed the dragon couch?


In chinese history and culture, the emperor is the son of heaven ("Tianzi"), who is ordained by the heaven to rule the empire, under the so-called "Mandate of Heaven". The chinese believe that the emperor is also a manifestation of the dragon, who has come to the land to rule the empire. It was said that there were 9 dragons, one of which is the emperor

The dragon had thus been associated with the emperor and is a symbol for emperor. Anything that is associated with the emperor has a word 'dragon' added to it such as "dragon couch", "dragon bed", "dragon body". The "dragon body" refers to the emperor's body, while 'dragon couch' is the couch where the emperor sits. No-one but the emperor can wear the 'dragon robe', which is only worn by the emperor himself. Anyone found wearing the 'dragon robe' is 'assumed' to be the emperor, but if he isn't, will be punishable by death sentence.

(Staff: please do not delete this thread as it's quite important!!)
Posted ImagePosted Image

"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#3 Gweilo

Gweilo

    Grand Mentor (Taishi 太师)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 429 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Houston, Texas, USA
  • Interests:Travel, fitness, history, games.
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    General Chinese History

Posted 05 June 2004 - 08:33 AM

Back in February, Rocky at the Emperor Heaven website wrote two nice articles on Chinese dragons. The articles included some nice pictures. Both articles can be read at the news archives, visit this link:

http://emperor.heave...arc1-2004.shtml
Explore Chinese history by playing Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom

#4 Bryan

Bryan

    Imperial Inspector (Jianyushi 监御使)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 198 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Languages spoken:English, smattering of French
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Three Kingdoms

Posted 05 June 2004 - 11:43 AM

Just a quick question: don't Chinese deer, or the deer that are indigenous to China, have tusks, not antlers?
Posted Image

#5 Guest_Tyler_*

Guest_Tyler_*
  • Guest

Posted 05 June 2004 - 04:00 PM

The emperor, in chinese history and culture, was the 'son' of heaven or "Tianzi" (天子) under the so-called "Mandate of Heaven" .  He had been ordained by the heaven to rule the empire.


The mandate of Heaven is also the Imperial Seal right? It is a object (commoners are forbinden to see) inside a golden dragon case, is that correct. Or is the golden dragon box the Imperial Seal and the Mandate of Heaven is in the box? Please help me clarify this.

#6 Bryan

Bryan

    Imperial Inspector (Jianyushi 监御使)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 198 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Languages spoken:English, smattering of French
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Three Kingdoms

Posted 05 June 2004 - 06:05 PM

From the Wiki:

The Mandate of Heaven (天命 Pinyin: Tiānmìng) was a Chinese concept used to justify the rule of the kings of the Zhou Dynasty and later the Emperors of China. The concept of the Mandate of Heaven was that a king's rule was based on the blessing of Heaven and that if a king ruled unwisely, Heaven would be displeased and would give the Mandate to someone else. It is first found discussed in writings recording the words of the Duke of Zhou, younger brother of King Wu of Zhou and regent for King Wu's infant son King Cheng of Zhou, and he is usually considered to be its first proponent.

The Shang dynasty had ruled because of family connections to divine power—their founders had been deities, and their ancestors went to join them in Heaven. Heaven was very active and interfering, in mysterious ways, in earthly rule, as is shown by the divination texts preserved from the later part of the Shang dynasty, the oracle bones. The Mandate of Heaven theory may be thought of as changing this familial connection to a feudal one—the world was now a fief, held at Heaven's pleasure, which could and would be reassigned if the holder misbehaved.

The concept was first used by the Zhou dynasty to justify their overthrow of the Shang dynasty and was used by many succeeding dynasties to justify their rule. One consequence of the idea of the Mandate of Heaven was that it was not necessary for a person to be of noble birth to lead a revolt and become a legitimate emperor, and in fact a number of dynasties such as the Han dynasty and Ming dynasty were founded by persons of modest birth.

Originally, the idea of the Mandate of Heaven had no time limitations. It was strictly a performance standard. The Duke of Zhou made it clear, when explaining the Mandate to the defeated people of the Shang dynasty, that if their last king had not been so evil, his Mandate would not have been withdrawn. Eventually, as Chinese political ideas developed further, the Mandate was linked to the notion of dynastic cycle in which a dynasty started strong and vigourously but gradually would succumb to immorality and be replaced by a new stronger dynasty. The notion of the Mandate of Heaven was also invoked by Mencius.

The idea was different from the European notion of Divine Right of Kings in that it legitimized the overthrow of a dynasty and it also put some limits on the behavior of the emperor. If the emperor ruled unwisely or failed to perform the proper rituals, the emperor could lose the Mandate of Heaven and be overthrown. On the other hand, it also promoted "might is right" ideas, since any successful dynastic founder was considered to have the Mandate by virtue of his success, and any failed ruler was considered to have lost it, no matter how great his personal virtue. It also encouraged both Chinese unity and a disdainful attitude towards the outside world, since there was only one Mandate, and so only one true ruler of humankind—the Emperor of China. These attitudes made it very difficult for Chinese court officials in the Qing dynasty to understand the European multi-state system.

"Mandate of Heaven" was also the very first era name of the Qing Empire.


Here is another site: Chinese Seals

So, the Mandate is a concept, and the Seal is an object, or stamp, or what have you.
Posted Image

#7 Guest_Tyler_*

Guest_Tyler_*
  • Guest

Posted 06 June 2004 - 12:19 PM

(Staff: please do not delete this thread as it's quite important!!)

Very funny I think you ment post :unsure: .

#8 DaMo

DaMo

    Prime Minister (Situ/Chengxiang 司徒/丞相)

  • Super Moderator
  • 1,755 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Dubai
  • Interests:History, Philosophy, Law, Political Science, InfoTech
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Asian History
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Prehistory, Early Imperial, Samguk

Posted 02 July 2004 - 10:22 PM



Posted Image

The Celestial Chinese Dragon is comparable as the symbol of the Chinese race itself. Chinese around the world, proudly proclaim themselves "Lung Tik Chuan Ren" (Descendents of the Dragon). Dragons are referred to as the divine mythical creature that brings with it ultimate abundance, prosperity and good fortune.

As the emblem of the Emperor and the Imperial command, the legend of the Chinese Dragon permeates the ancient Chinese civilization and shaped their culture until today. Its benevolence signifies greatness, goodness and blessings.

Posted Image

The Chinese Dragon, or Lung , symbolizes power and excellence, valiancy and boldness, heroism and perseverance, nobility and divinity. A dragon overcomes obstacles until success is his. He is energetic, decisive, optimistic, intelligent and ambitious.

Unlike the the negative energies associated with Western Dragons, most Eastern Dragons are beautiful, friendly, and wise. They are the angels of the Orient. Instead of being hated, they are loved and worshipped. Temples and shrines have been built to honor them, for they control the rain, rivers, lakes, and seas. Many Chinese cities have pagodas where people used to burn incense and pray to dragons.

According to legend, the Celestial Dragon had nine sons.
Each of these sons had a strong and unique personality.

Posted Image

"If an archeologist calls something a finial, he usually he has no idea what it is"
"We Vandals get blamed for stuff that was actually done by some errant Lombard or Visigoth"
"Nationalism is much about forgetting as it is about remembering"

China historical vacation 2011 photos and videos: http://www.chinahist...na-trip-photos/

#9 DaMo

DaMo

    Prime Minister (Situ/Chengxiang 司徒/丞相)

  • Super Moderator
  • 1,755 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Dubai
  • Interests:History, Philosophy, Law, Political Science, InfoTech
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Asian History
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Prehistory, Early Imperial, Samguk

Posted 02 July 2004 - 10:27 PM

Haoxian

A reckless and adventuous dragon whose image can be found decorating the eaves of palaces.

Posted Image



Yazi

Valiant and bellicose; his image is seen on sword-hilts and knife hilts.

Posted Image



Chiwen

Chiwen likes to gaze into the distance and his appearance is often carved on pinnacles.

Posted Image



Baxia

Baxia is a good swimmer and his image decorates many bridge piers and archways.

Posted Image


Pulao

Pulao is fond of roaring and his figure is carved on bells.

Posted Image



Bixi

Bixi is an excellent pack-animal whose image appears on panniers.

Posted Image



Qiuniu

Qiuniu loves music and his figure is a common decoration on the bridge of stringed musical instruments.

Posted ImagePosted Image



Suanmi

Suanmi is fond of smoke and fire; his likeness can be seen on the legs of incense-burners.

Posted Image



Jiaotu

Jiaotu is as tight-lipped as a mussel or a snail. His image is carved on doors.

Posted Image

"If an archeologist calls something a finial, he usually he has no idea what it is"
"We Vandals get blamed for stuff that was actually done by some errant Lombard or Visigoth"
"Nationalism is much about forgetting as it is about remembering"

China historical vacation 2011 photos and videos: http://www.chinahist...na-trip-photos/

#10 Kulong

Kulong

    Grand Marshal (Da Sima/Taiwei 大司马/太尉)

  • CHF Grand Historian Award
  • 1,487 posts

Posted 02 July 2004 - 11:49 PM

Jebus...

"Chinese race"? *** is a "Chinese RACE"? They obviously don't know the meaning of "race".

"lung tik chuan ren" *** is that? It's "Long de Chuanren". I wonder where they got that c**p from. :rolleyes:
生為中國人,死為中國魂。

"You can believe in any god, as long as it's our God."

#11 General_Zhaoyun

General_Zhaoyun

    Grand Valiant General of Imperial Han Army

  • Owner
  • 12,281 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Singapore (Taiwanese/Singapore Permanent Resident)
  • Interests:Chinese History, Chinese Philosophy and Religion, Chinese languages, Minnan/Taiwanese language, Classical Chinese, General Chinese Culture
  • Languages spoken:Mandarin, Taiwanese (Hokkien), English, German, Singlish
  • Ethnic Groups or Race:Han Chinese (Taiwanese Hoklo)
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    General Chinese Culture
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Chinese Language, History and Culture

Posted 03 July 2004 - 12:07 AM

Damo, good post about the dragon and their sons.

Just a clarification, please use the word "Chinese people" rather than "chinese race"...which is a much better word to avoid debate.

According to legend, the Celestial Dragon had nine sons.
Each of these sons had a strong and unique personality.


I think, the chinese Emperor is one of the sons of the celestial dragon. Therefore, anything associated with the dragon is associated with the emperor.
Posted ImagePosted Image

"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#12 General_Zhaoyun

General_Zhaoyun

    Grand Valiant General of Imperial Han Army

  • Owner
  • 12,281 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Singapore (Taiwanese/Singapore Permanent Resident)
  • Interests:Chinese History, Chinese Philosophy and Religion, Chinese languages, Minnan/Taiwanese language, Classical Chinese, General Chinese Culture
  • Languages spoken:Mandarin, Taiwanese (Hokkien), English, German, Singlish
  • Ethnic Groups or Race:Han Chinese (Taiwanese Hoklo)
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    General Chinese Culture
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Chinese Language, History and Culture

Posted 03 July 2004 - 12:48 AM

The Celestial Chinese Dragon is comparable as the symbol of the Chinese race itself. Chinese around the world, proudly proclaim themselves "Lung Tik Chuan Ren" (Descendents of the Dragon). Dragons are referred to as the divine mythical creature that brings with it ultimate abundance, prosperity and good fortune.


"Lunk Tik Chuan Ren" should be "Long De Chuan Ren" (龙的传人) or "descendants of the dragon". I'll slightly explain about "Long De Chuan Ren" as well as the dragon's significance to the chinese.

Actually, "Long De Chuan Ren" (descendants) is a chinese folk song that has attracted many chinese, especially those living overseas (outside China) to look forward to their homeland in China. This is because in chinese culture, the unique dragon places an important role and is a symbol of chinese, who claim to be the descendents of the dragon.

Here is extract from the lyric of "Long De Chuan Ren" song:

遥远的东方有一条龙,他的名字


Translation: "In the Far East lived a Dragon, his name is called China"

China was said to be the homeland of the dragon. In chinese culture, the chinese dragon is an animal with a long body, big mouth, with horns and foot, and equipped with god-like power. Traces of the dragon can be seen everywhere in chinese culture.

In ancient legends, the chinese god and ancestors are all symbols of the dragon. Ever since the Qin-Han period, the chinese emperor are said to the manifestation of the dragon. Among the chinese folk, they treated dragon as a symbol of divine fortune and god that will drop rains for their farms. The Dragon is also one of the 12 astro-animal (生肖) in chinese astrology. It was treated as as a religious belief. As history develop, the meaning and significance of the dragon also changed. How did the dragon originate?


Origin of the chinese dragon

In 1988, at the Yangshao culture ruin (dated to some 3000-2500 BC), appeared a graphical representation of a dragon using bones and shells. This is currently the earliest achaeological discovery of the "chinese dragon", tracing the origin of the dragon in chinese culture. In China, the symbol and idea of dragon is varied. In general, the ancient chinese put together several animals to form the dragon, which became a symbol. The chinese character "Long (龙)" for dragon first appeared at the Shang Oracles and Jin Script (currently the oldest known chinese writing form). This showed that dragon had already appeared in the culture of Shang dynasty . One can say that the dragon is an art for Shang, which was a product created by combining various animals, thus the dragon itself is a symbolic representation of chinese art.

Ever since the Shang period, the dragon became a divine god-like heavenly animal, who were worshipped by the Shang aristocracy and the feudal lords of the Zhou dynasty. From then on, dragon became an animal with god-like power and with much wisdom. In tradition chinese thinking, the dragon has always been a symbol of blessing and divinity. With the development of buddhism and taoism, the chinese were inspired and treated the dragon-god as dragon king (or "Long Wang" 龙王). The "long wang" was said to be responsible for the rain and thus whenever there is water, there would be "long wang". The people will worship the dragon-god for rain and good climate. The emperor will worship the dragon-god for making their empire safe and secure. With these two concepts combining into one, this led to the development of the temple of Dragon king and appeared in many religious and folks festival for isntance the 15 dragon lantern, Dragon-boat festival etc.

According to history research, the dragon is strictly speaking not the ancestors of the chinese. Recent academic research also revealed that the dragon is infact not a true symbol of chinese people. The "Long De Chuan Reng" (descendents of dragon) song was said to originate from overseas chinese hundreds of years ago, which was spreaded back to mainland China. It was a result of change in the dragon idea that dated back to thousands of year's idea of the chinese dragon. What was previously a symbol of the chinese dragon has now been a symbol of the chinese people. This was in fact a result of overseas chinese's deep reverence for chinese culture and their homeland in China.
Posted ImagePosted Image

"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#13 Guest_Kongmun_*

Guest_Kongmun_*
  • Guest

Posted 03 July 2004 - 03:48 AM

Excellent post on the nine sons. I have heard of their names and descriptions before so the photos were really nice. I have not heard of a name for the Celestial Dragon. Is it long forgotten or simply "Celestial". I visited Beijing way back in 1985 and saw the nine dragon wall but never made the connection to the nine sons. And IIRC the emperor himself is the final dragon making the total a nice round number.

#14 DaMo

DaMo

    Prime Minister (Situ/Chengxiang 司徒/丞相)

  • Super Moderator
  • 1,755 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Dubai
  • Interests:History, Philosophy, Law, Political Science, InfoTech
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Asian History
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Prehistory, Early Imperial, Samguk

Posted 03 July 2004 - 12:34 PM

There are theories that the dragon is a chimera (composite animal) of various animal totems/standards of northern Chinese tribes. It has been interpreted as having the whiskers, tail and scales of a fish, the antlers of a stag, the snout of a boar, the claws of a bird of prey, the mane of a horse and the body of a snake.

Posted Image

The phoenix may be a similarly related to the long-tailed birds and bird-sun totems of southern Chinese tribes in Zheijiang and Hunan.


"If an archeologist calls something a finial, he usually he has no idea what it is"
"We Vandals get blamed for stuff that was actually done by some errant Lombard or Visigoth"
"Nationalism is much about forgetting as it is about remembering"

China historical vacation 2011 photos and videos: http://www.chinahist...na-trip-photos/

#15 Ghost_of_Han

Ghost_of_Han

    Grand Mentor (Taishi 太师)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 439 posts
  • Location:Michigan
  • Interests:Chinese History, and Chinese
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History

Posted 05 July 2004 - 12:11 PM

"A dragon can assume any size, can rise in glory or hide from sight. Bulky, it generates clouds and evolves mist; attenuated, it can scarcely hide a mustard stalk or conceal a shadow. Mounting, it can soar to the empyrean; subsiding, it lurks in the uttermost depths of the ocean. This is the midspring season, and the dragon chooses this moment for its transformations like a person realizing his own desires and overrunning the world. The dragon among animals compares with the hero among people


This is a quote from Cao Cao, on the Chinese Dragon.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users