On this dragon robe, or jifu, the three elements – oceans, mountains and the heavens – symbolize the physical order and harmony of the universe. A dragon represents the power of the emperor. The five-clawed “lung dragon” suggests it was worn by a member of the imperial family or high-ranking official. Fine slit-tapestry weaving and metal-thread embroidery further emphasize the wearer’s status.

Collection Connections 

Do you know any myths or legends about dragons?

responded: Apr 4, 2012

Posted by Tommy C

Recommend this Response

Click image to view large photo

  1. Image
This origami star reflects the context of dragon robe. Since Chinese emperors were related to the universe because they were "the Son of Heaven", this origami star can be the sun that suggests meanings to the Chinese emperors. Those meanings were always related to "yang",brightness, life. This origami star is made out of different colored papers because the dragon robe is also painted with different dyes. Dragon robe virtually has taken a very long time to develop from the Song dynasty until the Qing dynasty, its quality was seriously ruined in the late Qing dynasty. Likewise, the origami star needs to take a certain amount of time to finish, but destruction can be happened in no more than one second. Moreover, traditional Chinese likes to learn about symmetry, so the patterns of dragon robes are always found balancing and equal. Similarly, the origami star reflects this idea because it looks proportional and equal in any perspectives.

Elements of this site may require Flash player 8