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Why Dragons are Common in Anime Posted Aug 27, 2019

For many decades, the Asian people have held the dragon in high esteems. These mythical creatures, though highly feared, they are a symbol of power and prosperity among Oriental cultures. The dragons have been immortalized in many films, novels, poems, fashions and even video slots games as anime.

Traditionally, the Japanese people associated these creatures with the god of water gods because the first dragon drawings were found along the rivers. They were believed to bring good fortune to the people such as rain in drought seasons and calming the sea waves.

As you may be aware, Japan is the motherland of anime; as such, the dragons are widely used as symbols in their creative work. The first anime in Japan dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, where they were commonly used in propaganda films.

There are many reasons why dragons are very important in anime in Japan and around the world, and here are the most common ones.

Mysticism and Transformation

According to the Japanese people, dragons have the ability to Shape-Shift into anything. Therefore, they are considered to be magical and mysterious. In fact, the ability to shape-shift is what enabled the Japanese to get their first emperor.

Royalty and Power

The first emperor of Japan, Emperor Jimmu, is believed to be a descendant of Ryujin, the Dragon god. The legend claims that she turned into a woman and mated with a hunter by the name Hoori no Mikoto. This explains why the Japanese people often refer to themselves as the descendants of the dragon.


In many cases, dragons have been associated with gardens in Japanese culture. In Norris Brock Johnson’s book titled ‘Tenryu-Ji: Life and Spirit of a Kyoto Garden’, there is a place he mentions a seven-headed serpent protecting Buddha from heavy wind and rain for seven days. This is one of the reasons why statues are widely used in Buddhist temples and shrines.

Knowledge and Music

The Japanese goddess Benzaiten is said to be the third daughter of dragon king of Munetsuchi. In her great wisdom, this goddess married the sea dragon to protect the island. She is often associated with all flowing elements including seas, music and knowledge.

Creativity and Masculinity

The dragons are the representatives of the yang symbol or masculinity. The rival ying symbol is represented by the phoenix, which is the feminine symbol. These two symbols combine to form a perfect union, which shows how marital life should be.

Wealth and Success

The symbols of a dragon holding a crystal are always associated with power and prosperity. It is believed that placing this symbol on the east side of your house will attract wealth, success, prosperity and all other good things you wish for in life.

Bottom Line

There is no doubt that dragons are omnipresent in all types of anime. All the dragons have a history which is deeply rooted in Japanese culture. These mythical creatures form the best symbols and characters in comic books, videogames, films and movies.

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