Metal tonfa with full—length engravings of dragons that appear to glare fiercely at their surroundings. These tonfa are said to house the limitless energy of fire. Dragons were thought to incinerate with scalding flames any who tried to bring them harm, and were considered holy creatures in Ryukyu province, where they symbolized the king. Many dragons adorn the citadel of Shuri Castle, stronghold of the Sho clan, to affirm the castle's impenetrability and strike fear into the hearts of would—be attackers. Tonfa saw great popularity in Ryukyu, with dragons featuring prominently in their designs.