A Japanese dragon symbolizes wealth and power. In Japanese mythology, the dragon represents a guard of one of the cosmic directions.
The dragon was associated with the direction east and used as a symbol of the Spring season. Dragons were once painted on tombs and other structures as early cultures strongly believed they helped to ward off evil spirits. In Japanese tradition, the dragon is considered the counterpart of the Phoenix, which is a red bird associated with south. When placed together, the two creatures present conflict and wedded bliss. The dragon is the male counterpart while the Phoenix stands for the female.