Ryujin Picture

This is the Japanese dragon god of the sea, Ryujin. This is as the dragon appears in an illustration in the book “Dragons: Fearsome Monsters from Myth and Fiction”.

Description from the book:

In Japanese mythology, Ryujin is the dragon god of the sea. He lives beneath the ocean in a jeweled palace made of red and white coral. His palace has a snowy winter hall, a spring hall where cherry trees grow, a summer hall with chirping crickets, and a fall hall with colorful maple trees. For a human, one day at Ryujin’s underwater palace is equal to a hundred years on Earth. Sea turtles, fish, and jellyfish act as the dragon god’s loyal servants. Ryujin controls the tides with magical sea jewels. Humans must approach Ryujin carefully because no mortal can glimpse his entire body and survive the sight. When angry, Ryujin churns the waves, causing rough water for sailors.

The Empress Jingo asks Ryujin for assistance in the attack she plans against Korea. Ryujin’s messenger brings her the two tide jewels. Jingo sails toward Korea with the Japanese fleet. The Korean fleet meets them at sea. Jingo flings the low-tide jewel into the sea and all the waters disappear, stranding the Korean ships. When the Korean soldiers leap from their ships to attack on foot, Jingo casts the high-tide jewel onto the seabed. All the waters rush back, drowning the Korean soldiers.


Head: His noble head bears the horns of a stag, whiskers that indicate his wisdom, and eyes that see everything from the very bottom of the ocean.

Jaws: When Ryujin opens his enormous, toothy jaws and inhales, giant whirlpools appear in the water.

Claws: Floods result when Ryujin rakes his impressive claws through the ocean. A swipe of his foot is capable of capsizing an entire fleet of ships.

Body: Ryujin winds his massive, scaly body through the chambers of his underwater palace far beyond the reach of any fisherman or scientist seeking him.

Tail: A single thrash of Ryujin’s tail creates massive tidal waves that wipe out entire coastal villages.


Ryujin’s beautiful daughter married Prince Hoori. This makes Ryujin the ancestor of all Japanese Emperors.

Because Japanese dragons are related to royalty, no one is allowed to harm them. Since they have nothing to fear from humans, Japanese dragons have become tame over the years. Dragons may be seen blocking traffic in cities or sunning themselves on rocks off Japan’s shores.

Many dragons are shape-shifters. They can change into the form of a human, mate, and produce human offspring.

In both Japan and China, the dragon is one of the guardian animals of the four directions. The dragon guards the eastern compass point and is associated with the season of spring.

Note: I do NOT own the book “Dragons: Fearsome Monsters from Myth and Fiction”.

Game used: www.deviantart.com/users/outgo…

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