J-XY - maybe J-35 - next generation carrier-borne fighter


kwaigonegin

Colonel
As for the whole "Dragon" thing. I don't think it has anything to do with the "dragon" being "the most ferocious being known in China". No, dragon was never that. The idea of the dragon does NOT revolve around the trait "ferocity". In fact, tigers () or sharks (鲛) are more representative of being "ferocious" in Chinese culture.

In traditional China, the word for Chinese Dragon don't get used a lot at all, unless it is referring to the Emperor, or when a Daoist priest and/or a mystic is quoting from the I Ching. This is because Chinese Dragon in Imperial Era China refers almost exclusively to the Mandate of Heaven. Before the Imperial Era, the Chinese Dragon either means the dragon totem, or a large snake, or a divination term in I Ching.

In modern day China, the Mandate of Heaven no longer function as a political belief system. Thus, dragons mostly represent something man-made that is magically magnificent. This is pretty much the mingling of the creature's origin as a totem (man-made symbol), as well as its being something magically powerful and spiritual.
Not to TOTALLY derail the thread but I find this cultural knowledge fascinating. On a seperate note, why do so many Chinese restaurants or mom pop businesses named Dragon xxxx? Out of curiosity are they similar in china itself or are their restaurants named 'regular' names?
 

vesicles

Colonel
Not to TOTALLY derail the thread but I find this cultural knowledge fascinating. On a seperate note, why do so many Chinese restaurants or mom pop businesses named Dragon xxxx? Out of curiosity are they similar in china itself or are their restaurants named 'regular' names?
In China, no one would name their businesses "dragon", as the dragon has been distinctly associated with the royal family. I guess when the Chinese go abroad, they want to associate themselves with the dragon because the divine being is uniquely Chinese and they are proud of themselves being the descendent of the dragon.

Please note that the Chinese dragon is very different from the European dragon. Physically, they look nothing alike. And they are fundamentally very different beings, almost 180 degree opposite in terms of who/what they are. Personally, I think it has been a mis-translation when someone decided to give the Chinese "Long" the English name of "dragon".

The European dragons have been mostly thought to be beasts that live in caves and cause disasters with fire, hence the dragon slayers being heroes.

The Chinese dragons have been considered as divine beings or gods in both buddhism beliefs and Chinese folklore. Especially in the Chinese folklore, the dragons control water. In each ocean, river, lake, or even a well, there would be a dragon king controlling the water there (and the Chinese dragons are gods who live in their crystal palaces). As water can be both essential to life and disruptive, the Chinese dragons have been considered to be both merciful and merciless, depending on how good or naughty you are. If you behave yourselves and be good, the dragon king will give you perfect amount of rainfall, which will give you a harvest, plenty food and income. A good life in general. If you act naughty and don't respect the gods, the dragon kings will either withhold rainfall to give you a draught or pour down way too much rainfall to give you a flood. Either way, they will destroy you if you are naughty.

This is also why the Chinese emperors have wanted to associate themselves with dragons. They are basically telling their people: "I can be very nice to you and give you a good life if you are loyal to me. Otherwise, I will destroy you with no mercy."
 

jimmyjames30x30

Junior Member
Registered Member
In China, no one would name their businesses "dragon", as the dragon has been distinctly associated with the royal family. I guess when the Chinese go abroad, they want to associate themselves with the dragon because the divine being is uniquely Chinese and they are proud of themselves being the descendent of the dragon.

Please note that the Chinese dragon is very different from the European dragon. Physically, they look nothing alike. And they are fundamentally very different beings, almost 180 degree opposite in terms of who/what they are. Personally, I think it has been a mis-translation when someone decided to give the Chinese "Long" the English name of "dragon".

The European dragons have been mostly thought to be beasts that live in caves and cause disasters with fire, hence the dragon slayers being heroes.

The Chinese dragons have been considered as divine beings or gods in both buddhism beliefs and Chinese folklore. Especially in the Chinese folklore, the dragons control water. In each ocean, river, lake, or even a well, there would be a dragon king controlling the water there (and the Chinese dragons are gods who live in their crystal palaces). As water can be both essential to life and disruptive, the Chinese dragons have been considered to be both merciful and merciless, depending on how good or naughty you are. If you behave yourselves and be good, the dragon king will give you perfect amount of rainfall, which will give you a harvest, plenty food and income. A good life in general. If you act naughty and don't respect the gods, the dragon kings will either withhold rainfall to give you a draught or pour down way too much rainfall to give you a flood. Either way, they will destroy you if you are naughty.

This is also why the Chinese emperors have wanted to associate themselves with dragons. They are basically telling their people: "I can be very nice to you and give you a good life if you are loyal to me. Otherwise, I will destroy you with no mercy."

I don't want to put you down. However, although many of your points are not entirely wrong, the foundation of your understandings of China are the same nature as that of the American Kung-fu movies as well as American Chinese food.
 

taxiya

Major
Registered Member
I don't want to put you down. However, although many of your points are not entirely wrong, the foundation of your understandings of China are the same nature as that of the American Kung-fu movies as well as American Chinese food.
How so? About vesicles's opinion of dragon? I don't know if you are ethnic Chinese born and raised in China, but I think vesicles is.

About the Chinese dragon. I once wanted to buy an outer jacket in bright yellow colour and dragon patterns, two imperial symbols. My mother stopped me, telling that "if you are not meant to be, don't try it, it is bad luck". Even the shop clerk did not say anything else even though they usually do if it is about something else. The reason is that "doing something out of norm, extreme, even good thing will turns bad". Another example is year of Dragon, unlike you may think, is a controversial year for a person to be born in. He/she is either deemed to be great or to have a troubled life. That is to say, dragon is divinely good, but not to be over frequently associated.

I am interested in hearing your understanding of China, especially which part of China you are from that has a quite different view from me. BTW I am from Northwest and grow up in Beijing.

Or maybe you are from the young generation who has changed drastically from the past older Chinese?
 

Deino

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #275
Guys ... as much as I enjoy your discussion on Dragon's but can we come back to the topic?

Concerning dragons ... soon there will be more. :rolleyes:

GoT Dragon - 2.jpg
 

jimmyjames30x30

Junior Member
Registered Member
Not to TOTALLY derail the thread but I find this cultural knowledge fascinating. On a seperate note, why do so many Chinese restaurants or mom pop businesses named Dragon xxxx? Out of curiosity are they similar in china itself or are their restaurants named 'regular' names?
This has more to do with when those restaurants were opening and who opened them. Yes, there has been a short era of fascination with the Chinese Dragon among oversea Chinese. However, I would say that these are just temporary trends. The 60s, 70s and 80s saw a great rise of Pan-Chinese nationalism, which prompted the Chinese diaspora all over the world to revisit and strengthen their national/cultural identity as a unified group. One of the creation of this cultural movement is the creation of the idea of the so-called "Descendants of the dragon" (aka. 龍的傳人), which is considered as a symbol of unifying identity of the Chinese ethnicity/nationality. I think this is the result of a three fairly coincidental trend all happening at the same time:

1. The Sino-Soviet Split saw a sharp turn of the general attitude of Chinese Communism from an originally internationalist/pan-humanist world view to an increasingly more nationalistic and ethnocentric world view (aka. "Chinese communism is first and foremost Chinese")

2. ROC's Taiwan (as well as British Hong Kong) has taken the course of revival of traditional Chinese culture as a form of confrontation against Communist Mainland China's cultural revolution. The majority of Chinese people outside of China considers the Cultural Revolution as a communist effort of "Disinolization". They thought that the Chinese communists were killing the Chinese culture.

3. The rise of the "Four Asian Dragons", as well as the increasing success and growth of S.E. Asian countries saw a sharp increase of wealth and Influence of Chinese/ethnic-Chinese in South East Asia, this has sparked numerous anti-Chinese mob violence in the regions which saw atrocious massacres (i.e. Indonesia). The oversea Chinese found themselves vulnerable and thus turns increasingly Pan-Chinese as a defense mechanism.

The trend of this "dragon loving" Pan-Chinese-ism has actually been dying out really quickly in the past decade. The reason being the aforementioned trends are all gone now.
 

jimmyjames30x30

Junior Member
Registered Member
How so? About vesicles's opinion of dragon? I don't know if you are ethnic Chinese born and raised in China, but I think vesicles is.

About the Chinese dragon. I once wanted to buy an outer jacket in bright yellow colour and dragon patterns, two imperial symbols. My mother stopped me, telling that "if you are not meant to be, don't try it, it is bad luck". Even the shop clerk did not say anything else even though they usually do if it is about something else. The reason is that "doing something out of norm, extreme, even good thing will turns bad". Another example is year of Dragon, unlike you may think, is a controversial year for a person to be born in. He/she is either deemed to be great or to have a troubled life. That is to say, dragon is divinely good, but not to be over frequently associated.

I am interested in hearing your understanding of China, especially which part of China you are from that has a quite different view from me. BTW I am from Northwest and grow up in Beijing.

Or maybe you are from the young generation who has changed drastically from the past older Chinese?
I would love to obey the Moderator and stop here. You are a very typical Northwestern Chinese: honorable, hot-tempered and confrontational. I admire your character, I know you will take my evasiveness as an insult. But please, I really don't want to fight.
 

kwaigonegin

Colonel
Out of respect for Deino and also that it has very little to do with J-XY, we should stop here HOWEVER I like to adjourn to some other more appropriate tread to continue this discussion because I am interested in learning about china/chinese from a cultural/historical perspective. It intriques me and I believe that the chinese dragon whether from a socio/political and/or divine/mythological perspective plays a significant role in forming the chinese culture and society.
 

taxiya

Major
Registered Member
I would love to obey the Moderator and stop here. You are a very typical Northwestern Chinese: honorable, hot-tempered and confrontational. I admire your character, I know you will take my evasiveness as an insult. But please, I really don't want to fight.
To be honest, I don't see you as evasive (yet ;)) because I agree that we should not continue this further as it is OT. As Kwaigonegin has suggested we can continue the subject in other thread more appropriate if you want to.
 

jimmyjames30x30

Junior Member
Registered Member
To be honest, I don't see you as evasive (yet ;)) because I agree that we should not continue this further as it is OT. As Kwaigonegin has suggested we can continue the subject in other thread more appropriate if you want to.
I would love to discuss more about how Chinese culture shaped Her military doctrine over the ages. However, I think this topic is a bit too broad. If you or kwaigonegin or even vesicles want to start such a thread, I would love to join the discussion! ;)
 

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