White Tiger (mythology)

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White Tiger
Wadang-baihu.jpg
Bái Hǔ sculpture on the eaves tile
Chinese name
Chinese白虎
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese alphabetBạch Hổ
Chữ Hán白虎
Korean name
Hangul백호
Hanja白虎
Japanese name
Kanji白虎
Hiraganaびゃっこ

The White Tiger (Chinese: 白虎 Báihǔ) is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations. It is sometimes called the White Tiger of the West (Chinese: 西方白虎; pinyin: Xīfāng Báihǔ), and is known as Baihu in Chinese and as Byakko in Japanese, It represents the west in terms of direction and the autumn season.

Seven Mansions[edit]

As with the other three Symbols, there are seven astrological "Mansions" (positions of the Moon) within the White Tiger. The names and determinative stars are:[1][2]

Mansion no. Name (pinyin) Translation Determinative star
15 (Kuí) Legs Eta Andromedae
16 (Lóu) Bond Beta Arietis
17 (Wèi) Stomach 35 Arietis
18 (Mǎo) Hairy Head Alcyone
19 (Bì) Net Ain
20 (Zī) Turtle Beak Meissa
21 (Shēn) Three Stars Alnitak

Origin[edit]

In Chinese culture, the tiger is the king of the beasts and has been presented with a (pinyin: wáng; lit. 'king') on his forehead for centuries. According to legend, the tiger's tail would turn 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 Wu Xing theory also represents the west, the White Tiger became a mythological Guardian Of The West.[citation needed]


Worship[edit]

During the Han Dynasty, there was the old custom of worshipping the White Tiger God on the 14th of the first lunar month in Huiji, Zhejiang, at Baihu Temple, one of the four Weiyang Temples. According to textual research, the worship of the white tiger appears in the ancient Qiang Rong peoples. To this day, the Yi, Bai, Buyi, and Tujia nationalities in China still call the white tiger its ancestor, calling theselves "Liba" and "Baidi Tianwang", believing the star of the White Tiger to have descended to the world where it gave birth to seven men and women.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Chinese Sky". International Dunhuang Project. Archived from the original on 2015-11-04. 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.