Sunday, October 5, 2008

Huang Long (mythology)

Huang Long is a hornless dragon who once emerged from the River Luo and presented the legendary Emperor Fu Xi with the elements of writing. According to legend, when it appeared before Fu Xi, it filled a hole in the sky made by the monster Kung Kung. Its waking, sleeping and breathing determined day and night, season and weather.

In East Asian culture, there's sometimes a fifth Guardian Beast of the . This deity is the guardian of the center and it represents the element earth, the Chinese quintessence, as well as the changing of the seasons.

Huang Long doesn't appear in Japanese mythology: the fifth element in the Japanese elemental system is Void. So there cannot be an animal representing it. Because of this, Huang Long is often forgotten. However, some consider the ''Ouryu'' as the Japanese counterpart of Huang Long since they share some similarities.

The dragon as symbol of imperial authority

At the end of his reign, the first legendary Emperor was said to have been immortalized into a dragon that resembled his emblem, and ascended to Heaven. Since the Chinese consider Huang Di as their ancestor, they sometimes refer to themselves as "the descendants of the dragon". This legend also contributed towards the use of the Chinese dragon as a symbol of imperial power.

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