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Dragon King

Dragon Kings (龍王 Pinyin Lóng Wáng) are the divine owners of water bodies in China, especially the seas (海龍王), but also lakes. The seas of each directions is ruled by a Dragon King living in crystal palaces, with soldiers whose true forms are shrimp and generals crab. Not only do the Kings rule over the aquatic life[?], they also can manipulate cloud and rain.

Although Dragon Kings' true forms are of dragon, they can also morph into men. When enraged they can flood cities, as Qian Tang Dragon King did when he found out his niece had been abused by her husband (Qian Tang also ate the abuser), according to The Short Stories on the Tang People (唐人傳奇 Tangren Chuanqi).

The Dragon King of the Eastern Sea is said to have the largest territories.


There are numerous temples dedicated to Dragon Kings in China, including one in Beijing built in the Yuan Dynasty, renovated in early 21st century. Ch'ao-t'ien Palace[?], devoted to Goddess Matsu, has also statues for the four Dragon King of the Seas, each riding on a dragon.

Dragon Kings appeared commonly in literature, with particularly detailed descriptions of the finery of the crystal palaces. A Dragon King is one of the main characters in the tenth chapter of Journey to the West.

Parallel entities

Goddess Matsu, though also a deity of sea, on the other hand, is a motherly figure and not an authority figure, and never wreak havoc.

See also: Chinese dragon

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