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2 Japanese kanji symbols for DRAGON

dragon written in japanese kanji lettersAnimal

All about DRAGON in Japanese!

Dragon says RYU in Japanese and we have two symbols for it.

Here’s the simple one.

ryu written in japanese kanji symbol, meaning dragon

And this is a bit complicated one.

ryu written in japanese kanji symbol, meaning dragon


What’s the difference between these two symbols? Which one should I choose?


Basically the same! You can choose your favorite one by intuition. But the simple one is used mainly for Western dragons, and the complicated one is used for Asian dragons.

If you want to mean a fire dragon or a flying dragon with wings in fantasy tales, the simple one is more suitable.

An Asian dragon doesn’t have wings and it has a long body like a snake.

Asian dragon

It’s like Shenron in Dragon Ball!


Exactly! Shenron is the Asian dragon god and he uses the complicated one.

If you prefer the image, choose the complicated one.


Both symbols have strong, powerful, manly, and divine impressions. They are sometimes used for boy names.


The complicated one was made first. It pictures a snake with decoration on its head. The simple one was made by simplifying the original character.

Free download

You can download the kanji data with transparent PNG format. Each letter is made in 1000px X 1000px. Available for any purposes and no link or credit is needed. Feel free to take it!



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2 kanji symbols for dragon, what's the difference?

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