― American Museum of Natural History
Strong, mighty, and powerful, yes, but they are not the monsters that devour mankind and are greedy for gold and power. In Eastern cultures, dragons are more of the powerful and wise guardians that protect people from universal dangers and impart wisdom to those who are successful in pleasing them. Yes, Japanese dragons are associated with rainfall and water bodies of the world, thereby having full control on the harvest, which is the symbolism of wealth and prosperity. This is the reason why the monks held rituals to please them to get relief from droughts. But this is not all that this water god symbolizes in Japan. The following section discusses furthermore on the significance of dragons and the legends and myths associated with their symbolism.
If we dig deeper into the ancient Japanese manuscripts, we will undoubtedly come across a lot many tales associated with dragons and their powerful influence on the lives of the mortals. While widely believed to be nothing more than a myth, some stories do force us to believe that perhaps these creatures aren't mythical at all. For instance, why would Buddhism claim on the existence of a guardian dragon? With the tales of these godly creatures being widespread globally, not just Asia, there might be a possibility of it all being true, and we humans just being unaware of this other world that exists with our own!
No matter what the reality between these legends may be, the symbolism mentioned above are enough to inspire us in our lives and learn from these beings. Indirectly, they are doing what legend claims them to do―impart wisdom to those who believe in them.