Episode 193: Dragon Tattoo

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Today we will talk about a story about a person getting a dragon tattoo. The story is from the book GengSiBian 庚巳编from the Ming dynasty 明朝 around the 16th century.

In the book, it says, there was a Buddhist practitioner from the Temple Jinshan 金山 in the place called ZhenJiang 镇江. The temple is on the Mountain Jin. He didn’t really care about his behaviors as much.




One day he was sleeping during the day. Some people in the room did a prank on him by drawing a dragon on one of his arms. The dragon had a head, horns, scales, whistles and looked like alive.




The Buddhist practitioner woke up and found the dragon. He thought it was from the heaven and he was the chosen one. So he tattooed it. After several months, the black ink color of the tattoo became purple and after another few months, the lines of the tattoo rose to 1 cm high. Every stormy nigh, the tattoo dragon felt like flying and moving and the arm would move along out of control.




After a few day, the Buddhist practitioner was showering in a river. Suddenly, the water split apart for a few meters and his arm started moving and flapping again. He followed the arm’s movement and dived into the water. He could see everything under the water, turtles, fish, shrimps, crabs… He has a thought, since the Mountain Jin 金山 is in the center of the river, why not to check what’s underneath the mountain? So he kept diving until he reached the bottom of the river. He saw the “root” of the mountain which could be held by a few people. It supported the mountain like a pillar. He shook the pillar with his arms. The whole Mountain Jin started to shake and trembling and the monks in the temple on the mountain thought it was earthquake and started to pray. After a meal’s time, the shake stopped.




The Buddhist practitioner had a lot of fun under the water and when he was back in the temple and heard about what happened in the temple. He snicked and told the people in his room. Those people told the abort. The abort though he was an evil spirit and sued him. The judge didn’t buy the story. Monks had no way but kicked him out of the temple after making him drunk. After that, the dragon never appeared and everything went back to normal.



庚巳编 GengSiBian

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