Basic Information

Type/Species: Eastern Dragon
Origin: Japanese Mythology

About Benten / Benzaiten

Benton traditionally used a white serpent as her messenger. [4]

Benten was the goddess of the sea, also referred to as the Goddess of Love, Beauty, and Eloquence. She's often depicted riding a dragon or a serpent in Japanese art. [1] She is one of the Seven Divinities of Luck [1] and is the only female among the seven. [3]

In some tales about Benten, she is the daughter of the Dragon King and therefore has the form of a dragon. [3] In many stories about Benton, she has the form of a human with eight arms. [1]

Before Enoshima appeared, a terrible dragon lived on the mainland, [4] eating the children from the nearby village now called Koshigoe. [2]

Around the sixth century, [2,4] an earthquake caused Enoshima to erupt. [4] Benton appeared above it in the clouds, searching for the dragon. [2] When she found his abode, she married the dragon, ending his taste for human flesh. [4]

With Benton's arrival, the beautiful island Enoshima rose up from the sea. The island remains sacred to the goddess to this day. [2]

Quick Facts

  • Benten is commonly depicted riding a dragon or serpent. [1]
  • She is one of the Seven Deities of Luck. [1,3]
  • She married an otherwise unnamed dragon. [4]
  • Sometimes she is called the daughter of the Dragon King. [1]


  1. Davis 206
  2. Davis 207
  3. Piggott 131
  4. Piggott 132

For more information on footnotes and references, please see the bibliography.