Typically the dragon is covered with scales, has a long serpentine body with a scalloped dorsal fin, claw-like feet and pointed tail. Its face is distinguished by small horns, large eyes with bushy brows, flaring nostrils, long whiskers and sharp teeth. The dragon is associated with water, and is often shown emerging from vapor and clouds to produce rain.
Although fearsome and powerful, dragons are equally considered just, benevolent, and the bringers of wealth and good fortune. The dragon is also considered a shapeshifter who can assume human form and mate with people. Not much else is known about them.
The Azure Dragon is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations. It is sometimes called the Azure Dragon of the East (simplified Chinese: 东方青龙; traditional Chinese: 東方青龍; pinyin: Dōng Fāng Qīng Lóng, or sometimes simplified Chinese: 东方苍龙; traditional Chinese: 東方蒼龍; pinyin: Dōng Fāng Cāng Lóng), and it is known as Seiryuu in Japan and Cheongryong in Korea. It represents the east and the spring season.
In both Chinese and Japanese mythology, the dragon is closely associated with the watery realm, and in artwork is often surrounded by water or clouds. In myth, there are four dragon kings who rule over the four seas (which in the old Chinese conception limited the habitable earth). In China, a fifth category of dragon was added to these four, for a total of five dragon types:
- Celestial Dragons who guard the mansions of the gods
- Spiritual Dragons who rule wind & rain but can also cause flooding
- Earth Dragons who cleanse the rivers & deepen the oceans
- Treasure-Guarding Dragons who protect precious metals & stones
- Imperial Dragons; dragons with five claws instead of the usual four