Why do some Asian dragons have fur (or hair)?

2017-05-19 16:33:25

In the west, we tend to think outside dragons as purely reptilian in nature - in other words, all scales, no fur - but many Asian representations of dragons show them with substantial amounts of fur (or hair).

Scaly Western Dragon

Furry Japanese Dragons

Furry Vietnamese Dragon

Furry Chinese Dragon

This is even true in more recent depictions of dragons from the east - these two images were produced by the Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli:

Why is this the case with Asian dragons, and why the discrepancy between Asian and Western dragons?

It is important to note that East Asian dragons are in fact quite unrelated to Western dragons. While they may have influenced each other, the two traditions emerged separately. They share the same name essentially only because of translation choices; there is fundamentally no reason why Chinese dragons shouldn't be different to European ones. Hence, the hair disparity ought to be unsurprising since they

  • It is important to note that East Asian dragons are in fact quite unrelated to Western dragons. While they may have influenced each other, the two traditions emerged separately. They share the same name essentially only because of translation choices; there is fundamentally no reason why Chinese dragons shouldn't be different to European ones. Hence, the hair disparity ought to be unsurprising since they are not the same creature in the first place.

    Secondly, East Asian dragons do not have furs in the usual sense of the word, although they are often depicted with beards or manes. Canonically, the body of the Chinese dragon (from which Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese dragons originate) have fish like scales. While the exact appearance have varied over time, the fish scaled body has remained a constant feature of dragons in the Far Eastern tradition.

    As early as the Han Dynasty, a scholar named Wang Fu introduced the concept that dragons resemble nine animals. The Ming Dynasty and

    2017-05-19 17:54:09
  • fur for life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2017-05-19 18:02:18