Shenmue's Dragon and Its Connection to Tianlong and Tentei

shengoro86

Please Kill Me.
Joined
Jul 27, 2018
Location
New York City, USA
Hi Pals. Long time.

Using some tools made by fellow community members here, I have been spending time exploring Shenmue 3 looking for secrets.
Just today I came across something interesting that I wanted to share and propose to the community.

While exploring Lan Di's room, I noticed that there is a texture in game that resembles the Dragon Mirror but from a different angle. I don't feel this is an "alternate" Dragon Mirror design left unused as it is pretty detailed and kinda spooky actually. It can be found in game on the ceiling of Lan Di's room.

Here is the texture:
2019-1ddd2-15 14_57_48-Shenmue III.png

Now when I saw this, I thought hmmm that looks really familiar. So I did some digging on the internet and through some of my books surrounding the Qin Dynasty, Terracotta, and the War of the 3 Kingdoms in Chinese History. I came across an art that I'm sure some of you interested in this stuff may have seen before.
emphuang2.jpg

This is an art of Qin Shi Huang and his "War Dragon".
Qin Shi Huang is important because he was the founder of the Qin Dynasty.
He is also the man responsible for ordering the creation of the Terracotta Army Statues with the proposed aim to protect him in the Heavens.

So, this Dragon in the photo led me to believe that maybe there is some sort of influence of it in the story so I began digging into the different types of Chinese Dragons and in my research I found out about "Tianlong".

By definition:
Tianlong, the Celestial Dragons, are the celestial dragons who pull the chariots of the gods and guard their palaces.

I was like hmmmm, ok so maybe there is something here. So while looking up art of Tianlong, I came across the following and I was stunned.
(Source: http://www.chinabuddhismencyclopedia.com/en/index.php?title=File:12jan_dragon.jpg)
12jan_dragon.jpg

This looks familiar doesn't it?
(Screenshot of the Dragon Mirror from my recent YT Video)
2019-12-15 15_41_58-(45) Shenmue 3 Mod_ EXPLORING THE UNPLAYABLE CAVE _ JAMES REINER - YouTube.png
(Flipped to match the orientation of that art)
Dragon Flipped.png 12jan_dragon.jpg

I feel the resemblance is quite significant. This likely then means that the Dragon Mirror depicts a Tianlong Dragon.

So does this then mean that this is a heavenly dragon?

I bet you Shenmue's later story may involve "Heavenly Beings" and The Dragon in the mirror is set to guard those leaders. Maybe Tentei wants the mirrors to summon these beasts to conquer the Heavens? Just like Qin Shi Huang wanted to in actual history.

Keep in mind that Tentei is literally the "Heavenly Leader" of the Chi You Men.

Thoughts?

(This theory may have some issues here and there but I feel looking into these things will unlock elements of the later story.
Many fans choose to believe that Shenmue is grounded entirely in our reality... however, I feel they are wrong and the story becomes pretty divine.
Let's revisit this thread 20 years from now and see if this claim is absolutely wrong lol or if there was some truth to it.)

Love you all! Thanks for reading my babbling.

/james
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Very cool!

Got me thinking. Sorry for rambling.

I've always thought the 'Dragon emerging from the Earth' and the 'Phoenix descending from Heaven' related to the human/afterlife and the merging of the two separate worlds that require each other to co-exist/yin yang. The Buddhist theme of resurrection, per se.

Emporer (Dragon) of Earth | Male, Father | = merging to Father's Heaven
Empress (Phoenix) of Heaven | Female, Mother | = merging of Mother's Earth
= yin yang represented in the mirrors and a link to Yuanda Zhu

What would drive something like the Chiyoumen to exist? If it's power - is it possible that Tentei wants the Qing treasure in order to use it resurrect someone like Qin Shi Huang, so he can control his warriors? "In order to revive the Qing Dynasty" makes me think of the resurrection of people and time.

I have a feeling that there is something supernatural at play here. Does Lan Di believe he will see his father again if he obtains the mirrors? We may even see Iwao again.

Maybe the literal Dragon/Phoenix are guardians of the afterlife.
 
Joined
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Niaxi
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This is rather interesting and possibly linked to the different stories we have regarding what the mirrors do. On one hand, Master Chen talked about the resurection of Chi You, an mythical beast of Chinese legend. Whereas Yuanda Zuh talked about them leading to the treasures that will bring about the resurection of the Qing dynasty.

However, I would like to postulate another possibility for this dragon insignia. As far as we are aware (unless the plot has changed) the four celestial (heavenly) beast (Snake tortoise, Dragon Tiger and Phoenix), are used to represent the leaders of Chi You Men. In some stories, the four creatures are associated with the Five principles. The dragon of the East represents Wood, the Vermilion Bird (Phoenix in Shenmue) of the South represents Fire, the White Tiger of the West represents Metal, and the Black Tortoise (snake tortoise in Shenmeu) of the North represents Water. This system also includes the yellow (or gold) dragon of the centre to represent earth. It is possible that the dragon depicted in this image is the yellow dragon of the centre and that it represents Tentei.
 

gladias9

S3 Mod: Released
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Shenmue II
Thought Niaosun confirmed that Tentei is on the cutting room floor?
I mean she tried to kill Lan Di to take over the Chi You Men by her own words.. Suggesting no one is higher than Lan Di.

At the pace the series is moving it seems like Shenmue 4 = Niaosun's Demise and Shenmue 5 = Lan DI's Demise unless there's a Shenmue 6 to recon Shenmue 3.
 
Joined
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Thought Niaosun confirmed that Tentei is on the cutting room floor?
I mean she tried to kill Lan Di to take over the Chi You Men by her own words.. Suggesting no one is higher than Lan Di.

At the pace the series is moving it seems like Shenmue 4 = Niaosun's Demise and Shenmue 5 = Lan DI's Demise unless there's a Shenmue 6 to recon Shenmue 3.
well, that's possible but I remember someone (master Feng?) explains that Lan Di was actually inducted in the Chiyoumen after his father's death by someone else. It'd be a bit weird if the "newcomer" had become leader of the organization...
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2019
well, that's possible but I remember someone (master Feng?) explains that Lan Di was actually inducted in the Chiyoumen after his father's death by someone else. It'd be a bit weird if the "newcomer" had become leader of the organization...

People die. Whoever brought Lan Di into the organisation would probably be quite old or dead by now.

As for the topic in question, i believe all mystical elements (except Shenhua's thing) have been excised from the story.

The reason we get no answers to Bailu's mysteries (the Shenmue tree(s), the sword, the giant mirrors) is because there's now nothing special about them. The tapestries of Luoyang and the scary mountains in Shenhua's house have gone. The sword isn't shown floating in the intro nor no Ryo and Shenhua talk about it.

The treasure has been doubled down on...it's just treasure. Yuanda Zhu said the same thing, the whole mythical creature thing hasn't been mentioned since Master Chen.
 
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wait, there's the whole thing about the river stones that are found only around Bailu. Here and there they do talk about it in Shenmue 3.
 
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However, I would like to postulate another possibility for this dragon insignia. As far as we are aware (unless the plot has changed) the four celestial (heavenly) beast (Snake tortoise, Dragon Tiger and Phoenix), are used to represent the leaders of Chi You Men. In some stories, the four creatures are associated with the Five principles. The dragon of the East represents Wood, the Vermilion Bird (Phoenix in Shenmue) of the South represents Fire, the White Tiger of the West represents Metal, and the Black Tortoise (snake tortoise in Shenmeu) of the North represents Water. This system also includes the yellow (or gold) dragon of the centre to represent earth. It is possible that the dragon depicted in this image is the yellow dragon of the centre and that it represents Tentei.

I think I wrote about this in another thread, but maybe I'm getting confused :) the Dragon & Phoenix of the mirrors are not related to the four celestial beasts in Asian cultures. The guardian dragon of the East is called Azure Dragon, while the Vermilion Bird of the South is a totally different animal from the Phoenix. I'd be rather surprised if these elements were overlapped...
The golden dragon of the center is the Emperor and curiously enough it was also the symbol of the Qing dinasty since 1889 up to 1912.
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2019
Thought Niaosun confirmed that Tentei is on the cutting room floor?
I mean she tried to kill Lan Di to take over the Chi You Men by her own words.. Suggesting no one is higher than Lan Di.

At the pace the series is moving it seems like Shenmue 4 = Niaosun's Demise and Shenmue 5 = Lan DI's Demise unless there's a Shenmue 6 to recon Shenmue 3.
They could always “retcon the retcon” in S4 and bring back the concept of hierarchy and Tentei.
If we have learned one thing from Shenmue 3, it’s that they can easily just tweak and manipulate the plot on a whim if they feel like taking it in a different direction
 

Kyo_JP

Today is a Diamond
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ElBidimensional
Emporer (Dragon) of Earth | Male, Father | = merging to Father's Heaven
Empress (Phoenix) of Heaven | Female, Mother | = merging of Mother's Earth
= yin yang represented in the mirrors and a link to Yuanda Zhu
As far as we know:
Lan Di has the Dragon Mirror
Niao Sun has the Phoenix Mirror
So maybe something is going on there.

Also, there is always a potential higher bigger Final Boss waiting to be revealed, if there is a succesion line or a internal fight for the succesion this line of "I will kill Lan Di and rule the Chi You Men" can be interpreted in a broad way, so I would not be to literal to it. For example, former King of Spain Juan Carlos I kill "accidentally" his brother when they were kids hunting, he was not closed to the throne yet, but to access it he needed his brother out of the succesion line. I mean, we have plenty of examples of this kind of stories in the real world when power is played
 
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