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Vermilion Bird

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Title: Vermilion Bird  
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Subject: Chinese mythology, Twenty-Eight Mansions, Four Symbols (China), Chinese astrology, Chinese constellations
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Vermilion Bird

Vermilion Bird
Zhū Què sculpture on the eaves tile
Chinese name
Chinese 朱雀
Literal meaning Vermilion Peafowl
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese alphabet Chu Tước
Chữ Hán
Thai name
Thai หงส์ไฟ
Korean name
Hangul 주작
Hanja 朱雀
Japanese name
Kanji 朱雀
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.[1] 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

As the other three Symbols, there are seven "mansions", or positions, of the moon within Vermilion Bird. The names and determinative stars are:[2][3]
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 on the gates of a Han Dynasty mausoleum complex

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.


In popular culture

  • In the mobile game Puzzle & Dragons, the Vermilion Bird is depicted as a beautiful, phoenix-like, winged woman who wields the power of flames, known as "Incarnation of Suzaku, Leilan".
  • In the Beyblade series, the Vermilion Bird is called as Dranzer.
  • In the Digimon series, Zhuqiaomon is designed after it.
  • in the Fushigi Yugi series, Miaka Yuki journey in to Universe of the Four Gods she became Priestess of Suzaku
  • In the video game Final Fantasy Type-0 the Vermillion Bird is the name of one of the four Crystals of Orience, representing the Dominion of Rubrum.
  • In the film Gamera 3: The Revenge of Iris, the monster Iris is at one point suggested to be the Vermillion Bird.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ (Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 5 月 28 日
  5. ^ (Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 5 月 29 日
  6. ^ (Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 5 月 30 日
  7. ^ (Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 5 月 31 日
  8. ^ (Chinese) 夢之大地 @ 國立成功大學 WebBBS DreamLand @ National Cheng Kung University WebBBS System
  9. ^ (Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 7 月 22 日
  10. ^ the star is actually located in the constellation Hydra

External links

  • "Star Charts and Moon Stations"
  • The Red Bird of the South

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