Two dragons presenting a heart-shaped amber, buried 1647-1658. From the
tomb of Lady Chen, wife of Tong Bonian, in Dengfushan outside of the
Zhonghua gate, Nanjing. Amber and ruby; gold with repoussé and filigree
Unlike many other dragons found through out the world the Chinese Long and the Japanese Ryu are benevolent yet powerful celestial beings. Protectorates, bringers of rain and good fortune their effigies are regularly seen in Buddhist, Shinto and Daoist structures. They are just all around the best of the dragon world in my opinion.
Chinese literature and myths refer to many dragons besides the famous long. The linguist Michael Carr analyzed over 100 ancient dragon names attested in Chinese classic texts. Many such Chinese names derive from the suffix -long:
Tianlong (Chinese: 天龍; pinyin: tiānlóng; Wade–Giles: t'ien-lung; literally: “heavenly dragon”), celestial dragon that guards heavenly palaces and pulls divine chariots; also a name for the constellation Draco
Shenlong (Chinese: 神龍; pinyin: shénlóng; Wade–Giles: shen-lung; literally: “god dragon”), thunder god that controls the weather, appearance of a human head, dragon’s body, and drum-like stomach
Fucanglong (Chinese: 伏藏龍; pinyin: fúcánglóng; Wade–Giles: fu-ts'ang-lung; literally: “hidden treasure dragon”), underworld guardian of precious metals and jewels, associated with volcanoes
Qiulong (Chinese: 虯龍; pinyin: qíulóng; Wade–Giles: ch'iu-lung; literally: “curling dragon”), contradictorily defined as both “horned dragon” and “hornless dragon”
Zhulong (Chinese: 燭龍; pinyin: zhúlóng; Wade–Giles: chu-lung; literally: “torch dragon”) or Zhuyin (Chinese: 燭陰; pinyin: zhúyīn; Wade–Giles: chu-yin; literally: “illuminating darkness”) was a giant red draconic solar deity in Chinese mythology. It supposedly had a human’s face and snake’s body, created day and night by opening and closing its eyes, and created seasonal winds by breathing. (Note that this zhulong is different from the similarly named Vermilion Dragon or the Pig dragon).
A study of Asiatic dragons Massive semi-aquatic omnivores, they are among the last of an ancient lineage of therocephalian survivors. Sadly, habitat loss and the demand for dragon bones has driven all known species to near extinction