As Chung-Ang University students know well, the symbol of Chung-Ang University (CAU) is a blue-colored dragon. This symbol originated from Dr. Yong-sin Lim's dream, who is was a founder of the university. One day, she dreamed of a blue dragon, and it became her motive for using the blue dragon as CAU's mascot. As Dr. Lim regards dragons as a spiritual animal and appoints them to the university's symbol, the dragon is a special and strange being to us. Of course, a dragon is an animal of imagination, but some people regard it as an actual animal and imagine their existence as if they were really alive, a very long time ago. Today, let's reveal all about the dragon.
1. Dragons are Tremendous Creatures; Appearance and Abilities
A dragon's appearance is very different according to country and age, but common features are shown everywhere. Above all, nobody can hurt a dragon's body easily because the body of a dragon is covered by tough scales which are pretty enormous, as like a mountain and a dragon has sharp teeth and a scary head like a dinosaur. Also, they have big horns which soar high into the sky and their claws are very rough and sharp. In addition, their eyes are so intense that the people who see a dragon become unable to move their bodies Some Dragons have wings and some haven’t. Whether they have wings or not though, every dragon flies in the sky freely. Dragons have a special appearance.
Along with their extraordinary appearance, dragons also have tremendous abilities. They are mostly fire-breathing creatures and can fly in the sky regardless of their huge bodies. Plus, they have much more interesting abilities too. For example, in China, the dragon was considered to be a sacred mystical creature which could make rainfall. In ancient Indian stories, if they got angry, they could give the land drought, and then when they soothed the dragon's anger, the rain would fall again. Thus the dragon is known for being a very omniscient being. In particular, there is a story in Asia that the dragon has a marvelous jewel called the 'cintamani', which can make people accomplish their wishes. So, a number of humans have coveted this jewel. Dragons have no limitations in their capacity. There seems no end to their power.
2. Asian Dragons & Western Dragons
As aforementioned, dragon's stories are delivered to us differently according to the region and times. As the dragon is an imaginative animal, it is natural that the thoughts of the era and countrymen gather together and form their various stories. In our minds, each wish and imagination embodies the dragon completely. The places where the differences are prominent are the Asia and West.
a. A Spiritual Existence; Asian Dragons
In images of the Asian dragon, we can see a very long body, short legs and arms and no wings. Also, Asian dragons have long hair on their nose and eyebrows. Instead, despite the fact that he has no wings, he is able to fly in the air and ascend to heaven. Furthermore, the most outstanding Asian dragon's characteristics compared with those of the Western dragon is that people look up to the dragon and see them as an almighty being, like a God. So, by painting dragons on king's clothes, they used to symbolize the overwhelming power of the king in China and Korea. In Korea, people called the king's clothes 'Yong-po' (dragon's clothes) and the king's face 'Yong-an' (the dragon's face). More so, among the scales on a dragon’s neck, there is a reversed scale which is called the ‘king’s wrath’. This acts as a weakness of the dragon and if anyone touches this scale, the dragon gets mad and harms people. Thus, through these words and stories, people portrayed kings as dragons and at the same time, assimilated a king’s dignity and position to the power of a dragon.
b. Western Dragons Seen As Vicious Monsters
Unlike Asia, in the West, the dragon has been seen as a marvelous creature, but also seen as a threatening monster to humans. In the Medieval period, knight's stories about saving princesses from a horrible dragon were spread widely and the dragon’s image as an ‘enemy’ became the general thought. For instance, most Western movies portray the dragon as a malicious monster, and the Disney movies Sleeping Beauty is one of those. Dragons have always fought against a main character or so called heroes in the movie, and people think of the dragon as an unstoppable dangerous creature. There are also a lot of games that game players fight back against, such as the brutal dragons in virtual reality. And Daenerys Targaryen's three dragons are violent in the American drama Game of Thrones, too. This awareness happened because of the dragon's tough looks and their symbol of strength. Western dragons have another difference in the appearance from Asian dragons which is their clearest feature, the existence of wings. Their huge wings are located on their backs for all of western dragons and the body looks like more like a lizard.
3. Stories about Dragons
There are so many stories about the dragon, compared to other imaginary animals. The stories have been remembered continually and handed down through tradition , regardless of people's age or country. The dragon almost certainly didn't exist in reality, however, we have imagined it as if they were really alive somewhere and many stories are made up from those imaginations. So, what kinds of stories are hidden in the dragon?
a. The Symbol of Good Omen
Koreans often say that dreaming of dragons means you have a lucky dream. In particular, the most famous lucky, but rare, dream is where the dragon ascends to heaven. So, Koreans embraced the image of the as a dragon positive and mystical creature, regarding the dragon as a strange animal and a target of idol worship. As a result, the dragon became the representative symbol of good omen. Even according to The Heritage of the Three States, there was a record of a dragon that protected the country during the 'Silla' period, so he is called the safeguarding dragon. Likewise, the dragon has a positive image in Korea.
b. Ascend to Heaven with Eyes
One Chinese emperor commanded a painter named Sengyao Zhang to paint the decoration of a temple. He painted four dragons on the temple's walls, but didn't paint any dragon's eyes. Some people asked him. "Why didn't you paint the dragon's eyes?" He said "If I paint the eyes, the dragons will come out from the painting and ascend to the sky". People didn't believe it and asked him to paint one of the dragon's eyes. Consequently, Sengyao Zhang drew the two dragon's eyes and suddenly two dragons came out from the wall and ascended to heaven. So the only two dragons that he didn't paint eyes on remained in the temple. The saying 'The Finish Stroke' comes from this story and it means the importance of the final touch.
b. Medieval Literature.
There is literature from the knights among Medieval literature, which have recorded the many adventures of the brave knights. Most stories are all about saving the world and rescuing a princess, but the most significant part is where the hero wins against a dragon. Representatively, the British epic poem, Beowulf, is very famous. The story is that there was once a dragon which no one could defeat, but 'Beowulf' beat the dragon fighting back and became a national hero. Likewise, there are innumerable stories which tell of dragons. Whether the dragon exists in the actual world or not, many people still seem to respect them and have a strong image in our mind.
4. Dragon in Content
a. Dragons in Movies
The dragon has breathed around us in old stories for a long time, but today the dragon can still be seen in reality, and draw many people's attention. The medium where the dragon emerges most frequently is of course the movie. In movies, dragons are described so variously in detail. As if a real dragon was in front of my eyes, they move naturally and a dignified atmosphere is delivered toward audiences on the screen. Mostly, the dragon emerges in fantasy movies, and the background of the movie is the Medieval period or another new world. For instance, in the animation film, How to train your dragon, humans and dragons live together making harmony through edification. In addition, the movie, The Hobbit, shows a large dragon who keeps a fortress guard with many treasures inside. In these movies, the dragons seem to be strong and powerful so their charisma is amazing.
b. Cartoon Dragons
Cartoons often used to represent the dragon too; since everyone knows dragons well and they stimulate our imaginative power with their extraordinary appearance. The dragon is a wonderful source of inspiration for cartoons all over the world. One of the most famous cartoons is Dragon Ball, in which the hero Son Goku gathers seven dragon balls and summons the dragon in order to receive a wish. This cartoon is made in Japan, but spread all over the world. The dragon is shown as a wonderful and almighty being here too. At last, some webtoon’s themes in Korea are the dragon. They look familiar and friendly to us unlike other dragons in any contents. They resemble human beings.
Wherever we go any country all over the world, the dragon always seems to be an imaginative creature who is full of power! This creature may be forgotten in our minds and thoughts someday, however, their beauty and other great aspects will be remembered forever for as long as we imagine them. Thanks to this animal, the great dragon remains an intense gift to us, more than any other mythical creature. Maybe, the idea that the dragon might exist somewhere makes our minds return to a childlike state. In this December article, CAH has written all about the dragon. The reason why we dealt with the dragon is not because of the dragon's splendid appearance or marvelous abilities. We just wanted to make you realize your forgotten childlike innocence while you were reading this article. Let the images of dragons recover your imagination during your boring daily lives!.
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