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: Nov 23, 2012

Posted by Videl

Recommend this Response
In Chinese folk tale, there was a rumor saying that the Chinese primogenitor was a human with a dragon body. That is the reason why we say that Chinese people are the offspring of dragon. It is said that dragon can ask for wind and rain, which means it has the power to control the nature, so many Chinese people worship dragon till now. It also became the symbol of authority. Chinese emperors always put nine dragons on their clothes to show their authority and power. People with power in the old days such as the family member of the emperor could also put dragons on their clothes but they were not allowed to do so without the king's approval. Plus, they could not put nine or more than nine dragons on their clothes as it was the symbol of the king. If they had nine dragons on their clothes, they would be killed.

Elements of this site may require Flash player 8