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Details
The copper dragon finely constructed of numerous parts jointed inside the body, the mouth opens, the tongue, limbs and claws move, the body bends, the head is applied with elaborate horns, spines and whiskers, the eyes embellished with gilt
51¼ in. (130.2 cm.) long



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Lot Essay

The dragon is associated with a wealth of legend and symbolism in old Japan, signifying both the holy nature of Shinto and the wisdom of Buddhism. Representations of the dragon are found from the earliest historical period wall paintings in the stone tomb chambers of the Kofun period (4th-7th centuries) together with tiger, phoenix, and gryphon. In Shinto mythology, the deity Ryujin is a dragon who lives under the sea and bears a jewel which controls the tides. In esoteric Buddhism the dragon together with the sword indicate the rope and double-edged sword of Fudo Myo-o, and is the manifestation of other deities. It is also used frequently as the fore-crest on a helmet.

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