East Asian Mythology: China and Japan

Chinese Heroes

How are Chinese heroes like those in other mythologies?

Like heroes from around the world, Chinese mythological heroes are miraculously conceived and born, indicating their special roleā€”one that transcends the division between Heaven and Earth. They are also marked by the necessity of a quest, the success of which will improve the lot of the people they represent. Commonly, these heroes, like all world heroes, are monster slayers, signifying their ability, perhaps reflected in our own lives and psyches, to destroy the forces that threaten us from both without and within.

The Sanggar Agung Temple in Surabaya, Indonesia, is decorated with enormous dragons. The dragon plays an important role in the mythology of many Asian cultures. Rather than being considered monsters, as they are in Europe, dragons are seen as divine beings.


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