Japanese Myths about the Dragonfly

The Japanese have some of the oldest myths and beliefs about the dragonfly. As far back as the 17th century, they have been holding the dragonfly as a symbol of happiness, strength, protection and good fortune. The Japanese Samurai warriors would adorn their helmets with emblems of the dragonfly to bring them strength and protection during battle.




It is said that the first Emperor of Japan, Emperor Jinmu, was bitten by a horsefly, which was then eaten by a dragonfly. To honor the dragonfly, a Japanese island was once called “Akitsushima”, which translates to The Isle of the Dragonflies. It is also know as the “Invisible Insect.” The dragonfly is most associated with summer and autumn in Japan. The Red Dragonfly, which is considered sacred, is found in abundance in autumn.


Today Japan s the world leader in the study of dragonflies. They even have a scientific journal that is dedicated to the dragonfly. The Japanese also believe the dragonfly brings good fortune, this includes  gifts presented  by the essence of the dragonfly. 6-free-dragonfly-clip-art-s

8 thoughts on “Japanese Myths about the Dragonfly

  1. This is such a cool post! I have never researched dragonflies much, and I have definitely never researched Japanese myths about them. I think it is very neat how different cultures have different beliefs, and it is very interesting to me that Japanese believe that dragonflies bring good fortune. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks so much Rachel! I appreciate when someone enjoys views that I have shared with them. I have just started researching European myths and beliefs, and are they an eye opener! I’ll be sharing soon!

  2. I just googled for a red dragonfly after reading your post. My curiosity was rewarded with a few stunning images of this beautiful creature! Is there a term for the study/hobby related to dragonflies? Thanks for your post!

    1. Hi Shaz, the term used for a person who studies the dragonfly is an odonatologist. The dragonfly and damselfly belong to the order of the odonata. Although I don’t profess to being an odonatologist, I have looked into this little insect and it’s background. Thanks so much for visiting!

  3. Hi there
    This is quite interesting. I have never heard of these myths. This is a beautiful creature. Thanks for sharing this information with us this really is the first time I have read about this interesting background on the dragonfly.


    1. Hello Helen, Thank you for visiting! The dragonfly really has quite the reputation all over the world. I can’t wait to share some of the other stories about them. I hope you come back to enjoy them all.

  4. that interesting fact that the Japanese warrior adorn the dragonfly as a symbol for protection during battle, do you know anything else they used for protection or strength?

    1. Hi Gino, the dragonfly was not the only item, there was a group of Samurai Warriors that word the butterfly to symbolize their particular clan. The Heiki (or Taira or Heishi) clan displayed is on their armor as a crest or emblem. It was believed to represent going from the lowly caterpillar the the noble butterfly.

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