The dragon that goes up and the dragon that goes down – 昇り龍・降り龍

In one of the temples in Nikko, the ceiling is full of dragons, some of them are holding a ball and others are not.

Dragon up, dragon down, in Nikko

Those that are not holding a ball, are the ones that go up (Nobori Ryu – 昇り龍), they are coming back to the sky. Legend has it that those that are holding a ball are much more powerful. The ball, which they got in the sky, allows them to be able to enter the world of humans, they are the dragons that go down (Kudari Ryu- 降り龍).

That ball which the dragons that go down are holding is known as “zuitama” 瑞玉, ball of good fortune, or maybe “dragon ball” 😉 The legend also says that “zuitama” 瑞玉 balls can bring good fortune to humans and are able to make your dreams come true.