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You Didn’t Know This About the Korean Dragon

You Didn’t Know This About the Korean Dragon

Think about a dragon. What comes to mind? Huge, winged beasts that rain down fireballs from up above on a helpless village (just like The Hobbit). Or the arch nemesis of a lone knight who is rescuing a princess from a tower. Whatever we wish to imagine, it is obvious that dragons evoke bad omens and evil. But this destructive characteristic of dragons is often found in western lore while its Eastern cousin, the Korean dragon, is quite different.

Korean dragons are omnipotent beings that embody rich and positive symbolism such as wisdom, serenity, and justice. Aspects of these dragons can be found on all strata of Korea’s social sphere. For example, kings would use dragons to symbolize their power while substantiating their ability to be fair and just rulers. For the common people, the dragon was also the god of rain and good fortune. 

 Part of the reason why the dragons embody such positive traits has to do with their origins. Korean Dragons originally start out as gigantic land serpents, otherwise known as ‘Imugi’, who then transform into true dragons, or ‘Yong’. Such transformation only comes from time and patience (both noble virtues) as being the guardian of Korean culture.

Some of the most striking physical differences from western dragons are that Korean dragons do not have any wings and sport long beards -- attesting to their wisdom and knowledge. They also dawn a variety of colors - green, blue, gold, or red - and can sometimes be seen next to a river, mountain, waterfalls, or the sky. They typically take on a wavy or circular form, which represents the intricacy of life’s many obstacles and high points. Most importantly, these dragons are often depicted carrying an orb in their claws, or mouth, called a ‘yeouiju’ representing authority over creation and divine will.

Aside from being the spiritual gods of Korean culture, the dragon is the only animal on the eastern zodiac that is nonexistent: the other eleven being dog, tiger, rabbit, mouse, ox, rooster, monkey, pig, horse, snake, and sheep. The Korean dragon also displays nine different animal traits that represent a holistic symbol of the Asianic animal kingdom. It embodies luck by having a nose of a pig; the abundance of the rabbit by sharing its eyes; the giving nature of a cow by having its ears; the elegance of a deer's antlers as its horns; the sturdy forehead of the camel; the long and adapting body of the snake; fertility with the scale patterns of a carp; the long claws of a hawk; and the power of a tiger’s fists. These all-encompassing qualities are unique to the Korean dragon. Check out the KORE dragon and Royal Hanbok releases, which showcase the Korean dragon.



Pseudo Pompous

Are you a fellow adopted Korean? I ordered a bunch of the hoodies this year, love them, thanks for the share. Year of the Dragon- nice work!




The reason I believed this to be related to my Korean heritage: the people in the room I considered “family” had never asked me a single question about my life in Korea, about my bloodline.. They had never really been curious about any positive or negative experiences I had as a Korean or Asian American, and they’d even been a bit racist at times.

Anyway, no shade on them, but in this dream, I transcended their influence, and it gave me a blueprint for the next year of my life, during which I would detach from them and reach out to my actual blood family.

Now, I didn’t want to make any false associations with dragons and Korea. Although Chinese and Japanese mythology seem to be common knowledge, I’ve never really learned much about Korean mythology, symbolism, or tradition. (The reasons for this involve dark historical atrocities that are for another time)

Anyway, I recently purchased a very beautiful piece of Japanese art on a blanket, depicting a tiger and a black dragon engaged in a sort of swirling, Pisces-looking fighting stance.

I did some research on the artist, who is from the late medieval period, and it turns out that his art came from a time when the Japanese were highly influenced by Korean artists. The dragon is bearded and slender and resembles a Korean dragon, much like the tiger.

My intuition is for sure confirmed..
I’m sorry if that’s not news to anyone on the site, but to me, it kind of blows my mind…


I had a powerful dream about a dragon a while back. Like a very, very powerful dream of a black dragon. I don’t put much stock in dreams because I only have a meaningful one once every couple of years on average. But this one was very intense and ended up being pretty prophetic…

Anyway, being Korean-American and born in Seoul, this dream inspired me to think of dragons as somehow associated with my heritage in a positive way. Especially because there were themes in the dream of people being unable to find beauty or worth in the room I was living in, which was at the top of a tower covered by scales and filled with eastern ornamentation and furniture and the like. I got sick of their lack of appreciation, and then I transformed into a dragon and flew away lol 😅


oooh i’m korean and i had no idea about this

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