See our Chinese Zodiac and Animal Signs webpage which has more information if you were born in the year of the dragon.
The dragon as known in Asia is not the wild and almost gruesome creature depicted in the stories of medieval Europe.
Instead, the Chinese dragon is full of wisdom, strength, and goodness. It is said the dragon can be found in the unclimbable mountains, or deep in the unfathomed sea. When active, he can be found in the storm clouds flying high above.
Of course, he is also known as the god of water, so the clouds and sea are home to him.
The dragon can grab lightning with his claws and the roar of a hurricane is really the voice of the dragon.
He is the chief of all scaled animals, and is described in ancient writings this way:
The head of a camel, horns of a deer, eyes of a rabbit, ears of a bull, neck of a snake, belly of a frog, scales of a koi fish (carp), claws of a hawk, and palms of a tiger.
These are the nine "resemblances" of a dragon - one of the reasons that 9 is seen as "the number of the dragon".
The official Romanized Chinese for dragon is "long" but in older English books it's sometimes spelled "lung". Both of these spellings don't tell you the true vowel sound which is really like the English word "oh".
In Chinese culture, the dragon represents power and for many generations, only the emperor could dare to wear the symbol of a dragon on their clothing.
If you hang a dragon calligraphy scroll on your wall, it indicates that you are strong and powerful. A great gift for a corporate executive with a chip on his shoulder - lol.
This is probably the most popular Chinese character for tattoos these days. You'll see it on the shoulders of pro-basketball players, and on the hips of pop star divas. Of course, half of them have no idea what this symbol means, and the other half incorrectly think it directly means "warrior" or "power".
Of course, long before it became a tattoo staple, the mythological dragon roamed the earth - at least in the legends and minds of Asian people.
The history of the dragon is hidden deep in myth and history. Drawings and symbols of this mythological animal can be traced back to prehistoric tribal peoples of China. Evidence of the dragon's importance in Chinese culture can be traced to dragon figures and other artifacts unearthed from the Yin Dynasty (3000 years ago).
See our Chinese Dragon Artwork Here
...or select your Chinese dragon calligraphy artwork below...
龍 is the character for dragon in Chinese, old Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.
The dragon is the creature of myth and legend that dominates Chinese, Japanese, and even European folklore. In China, the dragon is the symbol of the Emperor, strength and power, and the Chinese dragon is known as the god of water.
From the Chinese Zodiac, if you were born in the year of the Dragon, you . . .
Have a strong body and spirit.
Are full of energy.
Have vast goals.
Have a deep level of self-awareness.
Will do whatever you can to "save face."
竜 is an alternate form of dragon. Still pronounced the same in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
This particular Kanji is often associated as an imperial symbol as well as representing the mythical Asian dragon. You may have seen it on the chest or flag of the emperor in old Japanese and Chinese movies.
Note: I would rate this as a non-universal alternate form. The other dragon character is by far more common, and universally understood.
We strongly recommend if you are looking for the symbol of dragon.
青龍 / 靑龍 is a scholarly title for "Blue Dragon" or "Azure Dragon."
You'll find this title used in ancient Chinese literature and astronomy. This dragon has dominion over the eastern sky or eastern heavens. The Azure Dragon is also noted for representing the spring season. Also seen as an auspicious omen.
Emperor Huizong of the Song Dynasty canonized the five colored dragons as "kings." The Azure Dragon representing the most compassionate of kings.
In Japanese, this title is known with the same meaning but can also be a given name, Seiryuu.
Note, the first character can be written as OR . Same character, just two ways to write it.
臥虎藏龍 is the movie title of the Kung Fu epic that was very popular in the west a few years back.
臥虎藏龍 is actually a re-ordering of an ancient Chinese proverb that refers to undiscovered talents.
The movie was one of the most popular Chinese foreign films to ever debut in the USA but received a lukewarm reception in China.
Note: This can be pronounced in Korean but it's not a commonly used term.
龍馬精神 is an old proverb that is used to wish someone good health and success combined as a great compliment.
The meaning is "The vigor and spirit of the legendary dragon-horse." These four characters are often accompanied by four more which mean, "...and the power and prestige of the tiger." Here we are just offering the first part which is considered the short version.
By giving a wall scroll like this to someone, you were either wishing or telling them that they have an amazing quality. There is also a suggestion of good health - at least anyone with the vigor of a dragon horse, would seem to also be in good health.
Note: In Japanese, this would be read as the spirit of 坂本龍馬 (Sakamoto_Ryōma), a beloved rebel who help abolish the old Japanese feudal system. This can be confusing, so I am declaring this proverb to be Chinese only.
This is an old proverb that is used to wish someone great health and success combined as a great compliment.
The meaning is "The vigor and spirit of the legendary dragon-horse, and the power and prestige of the tiger."
By giving a wall scroll like this to someone, you were either wishing or telling them that they have these qualities. There is also a suggestion of good health - at least anyone with the vigor of a dragon horse, would seem to also be in good health.
龍鳳 is the simplest way to express "Dragon and Phoenix" in Chinese and Japanese.
This title can be used to represent, "The emperor and empress," or a metaphor for an outstanding personage.
It should be noted that this is most often used as a given name "Ryuuhou" in Japanese. It may be read more as the name than by meaning in Japanese.
龍鳳呈祥 is often seen at weddings and other celebrations in China.
It suggests that the dragon and phoenix will bring you auspicious tidings.
The first character is dragon.
The second is phoenix.
The third is presents or brings.
And the last means auspicious, propitious, or luck.
Throughout China, the dragon and phoenix are symbols of good fortune. You will see these auspicious figures as decorative symbols on everything from buildings, furniture, wedding costumes, sculptures in public parks, to caskets and items used in ceremonies.
龍虎精神 means the spirit of the dragon and tiger. It speaks to the vitality and vigor that is the nature of these two creatures.
Beyond "spirit," the second two characters can also mean mind, soul, or heart. Therefore, you can also say this means "Heart of the Dragon and Tiger," etc.
龍虎精神 is often titled as "Ryukoseishin" in many Japanese martial arts.
螣 is the Chinese character and old Korean Hanja that means "flying dragon."
This title can mean blue or green dragon.
The first character can mean blue, green, azure, or celadon.
The second character means dragon.
This is mostly a Chinese title (especially in Buddhism). It will be understood but less commonly used in Japanese and Korean.
The meaning of 藏龍臥虎 is that both the tiger and dragon have amazing talents, but if they are out of view, you may not have discovered them.
This old Chinese idiom/proverb is appropriate for someone with amazing ability that keeps that ability hidden.
You might think this title is in reverse, but actually, this is the original Chinese proverb.
The movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon popularized this alternate version.
朱龍 is a sophisticated or scholarly way to say, "Red Dragon." 朱龍 is the title you'd expect in ancient Chinese literature.
The first character means red, cinnabar, or vermillion.
The second character means dragon.
It is said that the Vermillion Dragon represents kings that bestow blessings on lakes or bodies of water. This makes more sense in an ancient Chinese context.
This title for water dragon is the hornless or scaled dragon. 蛟龍 is the king of all aquatic animals with the ability to control rain and floods.
In Japanese, the rain dragon can represent hidden genius. This dragon's domain is the deep murky water, thus with hidden potential. This can also be the Japanese given name Kouryuu.
黃龍 is a sophisticated or scholarly way to say, "Yellow Dragon." 黃龍 is the title you'd expect in ancient Chinese literature.
The first character means yellow.
The second character means dragon.
The Yellow Dragon represents a king that favorably hears all petitions of his subjects.
Note: This title can be the name of Huanglong county in Yan'an, located in Shaanxi province of China.
龍之道 is how the way of the dragon is written in Chinese.
龍之道 is not the same as the Chinese movie that was titled in English as "The Way of the Dragon". 龍之道 is rather, the literal meaning, of the dragon's way. The first character is dragon, the second is a possessive article, and the third character means way or path.
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|ryuu / tatsu|
ryu / tatsu
|lóng / long2 / long||lung|
|竜||ryuu / tatsu|
ryu / tatsu
|lóng / long2 / long||lung|
|青龍 / 靑龍|
|sei ryuu / seiryuu / sei ryu / seiryu||qīng lóng|
|koku ryuu / kokuryuu / koku ryu / kokuryu||hēi lóng / hei1 long2 / hei long / heilong||hei lung / heilung|
|mò lóng / mo4 long2 / mo long / molong||mo lung / molung|
|han ryuu / hanryuu / han ryu / hanryu||pān lóng / pan1 long2 / pan long / panlong||p`an lung / panlung / pan lung|
|Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon||臥虎藏龍|
|wò hǔ cáng lóng|
wo4 hu3 cang2 long2
wo hu cang long
|wo hu ts`ang lung
wo hu tsang lung
|The Spirit of the Dragon Horse||龍馬精神|
|lóng mǎ jīng shén|
long2 ma3 jing1 shen2
long ma jing shen
|lung ma ching shen
|The Spirit of the Dragon Horse, the Power of a Tiger.||龍馬精神虎虎生威|
|lóng mǎ jīng shén hǔ hǔ shēng wēi|
long2 ma3 jing1 shen2 hu3 hu3 sheng1 wei1
long ma jing shen hu hu sheng wei
|lung ma ching shen hu hu sheng wei|
|lóng nǚ / long2 nv3 / long nv / longnv||lung nü / lungnü|
|Dragon and Phoenix||龍鳳|
|ryuu hou / ryuuhou / ryu ho / ryuho||lóng fèng|
|Dragon and Phoenix Brings Luck||龍鳳呈祥|
|lóng fèng chéng xiáng|
long2 feng4 cheng2 xiang2
long feng cheng xiang
|lung feng ch`eng hsiang
lung feng cheng hsiang
|lóng hún / long2 hun2 / long hun / longhun||lung hun / lunghun|
|The Spirit of Dragon and Tiger||龍虎精神|
|ryu ko sei shin|
|lóng hǔ jīng shén|
long2 hu3 jing1 shen2
long hu jing shen
|lung hu ching shen
|ryuu bu shi|
ryu bu shi
|lóng wǔ shì|
long2 wu3 shi4
long wu shi
|lung wu shih
|lóng zhàn shì|
long2 zhan4 shi4
long zhan shi
|lung chan shih
|dòu lóng zhàn shì|
dou4 long2 zhan4 shi4
dou long zhan shi
|tou lung chan shih
|dì lóng / di4 long2 / di long / dilong||ti lung / tilung|
|hi ryuu / hiryuu / hi ryu / hiryu||huǒ lóng / huo3 long2 / huo long / huolong||huo lung / huolung|
|Flying Dragon||螣||téng / teng2 / teng||t`eng / teng|
|kin ryuu / kinryuu / kin ryu / kinryu||jīn lóng / jin1 long2 / jin long / jinlong||chin lung / chinlung|
|sei ryū / seiryū||qīng lóng|
|Hidden Dragon Crouching Tiger||藏龍臥虎|
|cáng lóng wò hǔ|
cang2 long2 wo4 hu3
cang long wo hu
|ts`ang lung wo hu
tsang lung wo hu
|chì lóng / chi4 long2 / chi long / chilong||ch`ih lung / chihlung / chih lung|
|zhū lóng / zhu1 long2 / zhu long / zhulong||chu lung / chulung|
|kou ryuu / kouryuu / ko ryu / koryu||jiāo|
|bái lóng / bai2 long2 / bai long / bailong||pai lung / pailung|
|The Way of the Dragon||猛龍過江|
|měng lóng guò jiāng|
meng3 long2 guo4 jiang1
meng long guo jiang
|meng lung kuo chiang
|The Way of the Dragon||龍之道|
|lóng zhī dào|
long2 zhi1 dao4
long zhi dao
|lung chih tao
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.
When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.
Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!
When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.
The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.
Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.