The legend of the dragon of Mt Hiei

“The dragon generally represents authority, chaos, and power in many cultures. In Japan the dragon is the embodiment of infinity and sovereignty. In Japanese culture this creature is seen as a symbol of human passions, a messenger of the gods, and the key to success.(5) The dragon holds many strange powers that the people respect and write about. This belief is represented in a story called “The Invincible Pair.”

…The dragon turned into a small boy, took the monk on his back, and smashed the rock walls of their hole, and burst forth amid thunderclaps and bolts of lightning. Huge clouds gathered in the sky and heavy rain fell. The monk was frightened but trusted the dragon enough to hang on. He was deposited instantly right where he had started, on the veranda of his dormitory on Mount Hiei. The dragon flew off…(6)

— Jessica Reilly, “Japanese Influence at the Centennial”, Material Culture, November 15, 1998

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