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The Tale of the Carp Transforming to A Dragon


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#1 CARDINAL009

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 05:50 PM

Was researching on the tale of "carps turning into dragon". This ancient tale is supposed to be about carps leaping and crossing over "Dragon Gate" to transform into the dragon.

A symbolic meaning of the ability to resist hurdles and achieving success.

The carp is a tough fish that could resist big currents in China's ancient Yellow River.
It represents the attributes of perseverance and determination.

They are able to persistently resist hardship, swim upstream and rapidly jumping above the water to reach heaven to symbolize great achievements in ones pursuit or high ambitions of a lifetime

Could anyone please elaborate more on this tale (the origin, the writer, etc.)?
CARDINAL009

[ "There's no greater illusion than fear, no greater wrong than preparing to defend yourself, no greater misfortune than having an enemy. Whoever can see through all the fear will always be safe. -Laozi"

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#2 kaiselin

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 07:45 PM

Would if I could.

LOL,Am still trying to get to that next gate myself,.

You summed up what I have found so far quite well.

You can only go halfway into the darkest forest; then you are coming out the other side.


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#3 CHF Newbie

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 02:20 AM

I found an interesting article on the Internet about the tale. Although the Net may not be a reliable source... but still it may help in some way... anyway:

Btw, 'Koi' is the japanese name for 'carp'.

The legend of the Koi who turns into a Dragon fascinates me most. Basically, it tells of a Koi who manages to swim upstream and up a waterfall to a gate, called the Dragon's Gate, and leaps over it, successfully turning into a Dragon.

I've done research here and there about the legend, and that is the basic gist of the legend - as some state that only one Koi swam upstream on his own, no Dragon Gate mentioned, and with no other Carp competing. The Gods, being so impressed with this Carp's perserverance, turned him, as a reward, into a splendid and powerful Dragon, which proudly took flight above the tumultuous Yellow River; while other interpretations of the legend state that 360 Carp made the trip to the Dragon's Gate, but only one Carp was able to swim over to the other side, avoiding evil spirits and transforming into a Dragon by jumping swiftly over the Gate.

On the basis of this legend, variations being irrelevant, the Carp became, in the Chinese cultural tradition, a symbol of courage and perseverance. The legend teaches us that only the fittest and the strongest can achieve the highest goals. We must strive for our highest goals with patience. Believing in yourself, and always trying to do your best will prove you to be fit and strong enough to conquer any hardship, and overcome any obstacle.


Here's the source: http://www.liquidtwi.../koilegend.html

#4 Pattie

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 07:46 PM

Picked up The Chinese Dragon from the library today. It's OLD...1922 and came with the caution to be gentle. It's fragile like you can't imagine.

Anyway, I happened to open it to the carp to dragon story (and remember, 1922):

All true dragons are of two kinds: those which are such by birth and those which become dragons by transformation from fish of the carp species. The transformed variety become dragons by leaping up the waters of a certain cataract upon a western mountain stream. Large numbers of carp swim once each year, we learn, to this waterfall known as the "Dragon's Gate." Here under the cataract they flounder about, jumping and springing up out of the swirling water; a few of them succeed in getting over the falls to the higher waters above. Those which are successful in this effort become dragons. After the story of this strange occurrence became known to the public, it was incorporated into the life of the people in a popular saying, and scholars who succeeded in passing the great triennial literary examinations were said to have "passed the Dragon Gate."

And I would be remiss if I didn't point you to this thread.
Cheers,
 

Pattie


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#5 Guest_royba_*

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 06:31 PM

Was researching on the tale of "carps turning into dragon". This ancient tale is supposed to be about carps leaping and crossing over "Dragon Gate" to transform into the dragon.

A symbolic meaning of the ability to resist hurdles and achieving success.

The carp is a tough fish that could resist big currents in China's ancient Yellow River.
It represents the attributes of perseverance and determination.

They are able to persistently resist hardship, swim upstream and rapidly jumping above the water to reach heaven to symbolize great achievements in ones pursuit or high ambitions of a lifetime

Could anyone please elaborate more on this tale (the origin, the writer, etc.)?



If I may throw in my little bit:

The carp has long been an emblem of perseverance. It was admired because it struggled against the River in He Jing District, Shansi, linked to the Yellow River. From this struggle, a legend grew up that those fish who succeeded in passing above the rapids of the Dragon’s Gate, Long Men, on the third moon of each year, had their heads burned off by lightning as they leaped over the rapids, and the face was replaced by a dragon’s face, and this was left with a mark on the forehead to distinguish themselves from others. The prolonged exertions of these fish and their eventual success in leaping the rapids became synonymous with the long struggle of the literary scholar who eventually achieved success after much persistence and toil. Thus, a fish-dragon in the shape of a carp (sometimes a sturgeon), with a dragon’s face, became the symbol of literary eminence, and someone who passed an examination for a degree was known as a “Carp who had leaped over the Dragon Gate.” Accordingly, it was commonplace to present scholars who passed with distinction a plate, or perhaps a vase, decorated with one or more dragon-fish. Several exquisite silver plates with gilt decoration have been found and are in museums around the world. The British Museum has a shard of Yue ware decorated with such a fish-dragon. Sadly, it is incorrectly described as a Makara.

It was customary to put a fish-dragon on the cross-pieces that form the lintels of arches awarded to or erected for those who passed the official examinations with distinction. These fish-dragons are known as Piao (骠) best translated as ‘mark of distinction’




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