A green Japanese dragon reading a scroll

Japanese Ryu drawn by Douglas Carrell

The Japanese Ryu (Draco orientalis japonicus) is, like the Korean Yong, a lover of volcanic hot springs. It is a species of dragon from the Dragonology books, based on real world mythology of Japanese dragons. 'Ryu' is the Japanese word for dragon, specifically the East Asian sort of dragon (wingless, long bodied, four legs), while 'Doragon' is the word for Western dragons. Within the Dragonology canon, Japanese Ryu are part of the Asian Lung genus, distinct from their close cousins in only having 3 toes on each foot (which is a motif in Japanese art in the real world).


They are 10 feet high and 30 feet long. There are four legs, no wings and three toes on each foot. Mane and wattles are shorter than those of the Chinese Lung and the distance between their legs is longer. Colouration is blue, red, green or gold with the females having feathered tails (note here: the Dragonology Field Guide to Dragons says Japanese Ryu are silver in colour, and one illustration in the Comprehensive Compendium confirms this, but the Comprehensive Compendium's text clarifies blue, red, green or gold). The eggs are identical to the Lung eggs except for being half of the size and laid in boiling pools, from which the infants will emerge when fully grown. Their diet is omnivorous and their lair is typically underwater. Ryu can breathe fire but more commonly impale their prey. Ryu are also associated with Shinto and Buddhist temples, which has led to some of them being able to write.