With the release of Pokemon Go, the words “Magikarp” and “Gyrados” are returning to daily conversations. Whether these words are new, returning, or have never lost popularity among your circle of influence, you’ve likely heard some snickering over their connection.
There are endless memes about it:
(Please note: these memes do not belong to me.)
“How could Magikarp- something so worthless- evolve into Gyrados- the great and powerful Dragon?!?”
Most people however, don’t realize that this is not a new concept. By “not a new concept,” I mean that the creator of Pokemon was not the first person to think that a floppy fish could turn into a sea dragon. In fact, this evolutionary pattern has been floating around Japanese mythology for over a thousand years.
Of course, the fish-dragon I am referring to now is not actually a Magikarp, but is instead the koi fish. (However, koi were developed from carp, so the name must not be much of a coincidence.) Koi are popular symbolically because they are known to swim upstream no matter what. They swim bravely and diligently. Nothing can distract them; nothing can stop them. It’s even been said that these fish can swim up waterfalls. Accord to Japanese legend, if a fish successfully climbs a waterfall, it will eventually pass through the Dragon Gate, at which point it transcends into a dragon.
Granted, this is merely a legend, but it is a good source of inspiration. Anyone can in some way become a “Dragon” if they “Just Keep Swimming,” (Oh look, a Disney reference.) Although I’ve been pondering this mythological chain of evolution a lot recently, I’ve had a hard time applying it to myself. I’ve been struggling to keep my blog a float, as you may have noticed by the lack of post recently. I’ve had a hard time keeping in touch with friends, had a hard time staying healthy, but most importantly, I’ve been struggling to look at myself as the Dragon I know I can become.
That will change though, I’m sure of it. I’m not sure how, but eventually I will climb to the top of the waterfall. I look forward to meeting those of you who are already there. To those of you who are still making your own trip t the dragon gate, feel free to shout out if you need a swimming buddy, I’m always here.
Wanna learn more about Koi? Here’s a good reference for you: [Click Here]
Want to make some sweet moving fish art? I found this tutorial earlier today: [Click Here]