Zhū Què sculpture on the eaves tile
|Literal meaning||Vermilion Peafowl|
|Hiragana||すざく or しゅじゃく|
The Vermilion bird is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations. According to Wu Xing, the Taoist five-elemental system, it represents the fire-element, the direction south, and the season summer correspondingly. Thus it is sometimes called the Vermilion bird of the South (南方朱雀, Nán Fāng Zhū Què). It is known as Zhu Que in Chinese, Suzaku in Japanese, Jujak in Korean and Chu Tước in Vietnamese. It is described as a red bird that resembles a pheasant with a five-colored plumage and is perpetually covered in flames. Represented by Jonangu Shrine in the southern part of Kyoto.
It is often mistaken for the Fenghuang due to similarities in appearance, but the two are different creatures. The Fenghuang (similar to the phoenix in western mythologies) is a legendary ruler of birds who is associated with the Chinese Empress in the same way the dragon is associated with the Emperor, while the Vermilion Bird is a mythological spirit creature of the Chinese constellations.
The Seven Mansions of the Vermilion Bird
|Mansion no.||Name (pinyin)||Translation||Determinative star|
|22||井 (Jǐng)||Well||μ Gem|
|23||鬼 (Guǐ)||Ghost||θ Cnc|
|24||柳 (Liǔ)||Willow||δ Hya|
|25||星 (Xīng)||Star||α Hya|
|26||張 (Zhāng)||Extended Net||υ¹ Hya|
|27||翼 (Yì)||Wings||α Crt|
|28||軫 (Zhěn)||Chariot||γ Crv|
Nature of the symbol
The Vermilion bird is an elegant and noble bird in both appearance and behavior, it is very selective in what it eats and where it perches, with its feathers in many different hues of vermilion.
- Four Symbols of China
- Four Benevolent Animals of China
- Four Holy Beasts of Vietnam
- Strassberg, Richard. A Chinese Bestiary. ISBN 978-0520218444.
- "The Chinese Sky". International Dunhuang Project. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
- Sun, Xiaochun (1997). Helaine Selin editor-link=Helaine Selin, ed. Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. Kluwer Academic Publishers. p. 517. ISBN 0-7923-4066-3. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
- (Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 5 月 28 日
- (Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 5 月 29 日
- (Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 5 月 30 日
- (Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 5 月 31 日
- (Chinese) 夢之大地 @ 國立成功大學 WebBBS DreamLand @ National Cheng Kung University WebBBS System
- (Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 7 月 22 日
- the star is actually located in the constellation Hydra
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