Japanese vs. Chinese Dragons


Topic Japanese Chinese
Dragon Types

Tatsu - generic name for Japanese dragons; symbol of Mikado [1]
Sui-Riu - Japanese Dragon King; "the rain dragon" [1]
Han-Riu - forty feet long; can never reach heaven [1]
Ri-Riu - dragon with great eye sight [1]
Ka-Riu - seven feet in length; fiery red [1]
Fuku Riu - good luck dragon [1]
Hai-Riyo - "dragon-bird"; similar to Ying-Lung; winged and most evolved form of a dragon [1]

See Japanese Dragon Types

"water snake"
Chiao (Chiao-Lung or Kiao) - scaled dragon [2]
Lung (Li-Lung or Chih-Lung) - larger than Chiao; hornless and symbolise the scholar [2]
Horned Dragon - an older dragon (thousand five hundred to two thousand) with horns) [2]
Ying-Lung - winged dragons that are also scale-less [2]

See The Life Stages of Dragons

Visual Differences

Three-toed [3]

See The Difference between Dragons

Five-toed [3]

See The Difference between Dragons

Dragon Attitude

Much like Western Dragons, Japanese dragons killed innocent people and forced towns to give them beautiful maidens for food. [4,5]

See Uwibami and Yofune-Nushi

Chinese dragons were benovolent creatures who shared with humans this relationship: so long as people were loyal, the dragons were benevolent. [6] Note: This is one of the five relationships that Confucius spoke of. (Ruler to Subject)

Japanese and Chinese dragon share similarities in: Flight Methods, Gender Differences, and Color Information.


  1. Eastern Dragons
  2. Illiana the Golden Dragon (defunct)
  3. Chinese Dragons. Link Defunct: <http://www.q-net.net.au/~dazsal/dragonspage.html>
  4. Rose [Dragons] 280
  5. Davis [Japan] 363
  6. Te Lin 105

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