White Tiger (China)

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For other uses, see White tiger (disambiguation).
White Tiger (China)
Wadang-baihu.jpg
Bái Hǔ sculpture on the eaves tile
Chinese name
Chinese 白虎
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese Bạch Hổ
Hán-Nôm
Korean name
Hangul 백호
Hanja 白虎
Japanese name
Kanji 白虎
Hiragana びゃっこ

The White Tiger is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations. It is sometimes called the White Tiger of the West (西方白虎, Xī Fāng Bái Hǔ), and is known as Bai Hu in Chinese, Byakko in Japanese, Baekho in Korean and Bạch Hổ in Vietnamese. It represents the west and the autumn season.

The Seven Mansions of the White Tiger[edit]

As the other three Symbols, there are seven "mansions", or positions, of the moon within White Tiger. The names and determinative stars are:[1][2]

Mansion no. Name (pinyin) Translation Determinative star
15 奎 (Kuí) Legs Eta Andromedae
16 婁 (Lóu) Bond Beta Arietis
17 胃 (Wèi) Stomach 35 Arietis
18 昴 (Mǎo) Hairy Head Electra
19 畢 (Bì) Net Epsilon Tauri
20 觜 (Zī) Turtle Beak Meissa
21 參 (Shēn) Three Stars Alnitak

Origin[edit]

In Chinese culture, the tiger is the king of the beasts and has been presented with a on his forehead for centuries. According to legend, the tiger's tail would turn into white when it reached the age of 500 years. In this way, the white tiger became a kind of mythological creature. It was said that the white tiger would only appear when the emperor ruled with absolute virtue, or if there was peace throughout the world. Because the color white of the Chinese five elements also represents the west, the white tiger thus became a mythological guardian of the west.

In the novel Shuo Tang Yanyi (Tales of Tang Dynasty), the reincarnation of White Tiger's Star is said to be Li Shimin's general Luo Cheng (羅成) and the reincarnation of Azure Dragon's Star is said to be the rebellious general Shan Xiongxin (單雄信). They two are sworn brothers of Qin Shubao (秦叔寶), Cheng Zhijie (程知節) and Yuchi Jingde (尉遲敬德). Their souls after death are said to possess the body of the new heroes of Tang Dynasty and Liao Dynasty, Xue Rengui (薛仁貴) and He Suwen (郃苏文).

In some legends of the Tang Dynasty's general Xue Rengui, he is said to be the reincarnation of the White Tiger's Star, and his archenemy, the Liao Dynasty's prince He Suwen is the reincarnation of the Azure Dragon's Star.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Chinese Sky". International Dunhuang Project. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  2. ^ Sun, Xiaochun (1997). 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. 

External links[edit]