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Vermilion Bird

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Vermilion Bird
Zhū Què sculpture on the eaves tile
Chinese name
Chinese 朱雀
Literal meaning Vermilion Peafowl
Japanese name
Kanji 朱雀
Hiragana すざく or しゅじゃく
Korean name
Hangul 주작
Hanja 朱雀
Thai name
Thai หงส์ไฟ
Vietnamese name
Quốc ngữ Chu Tước
Hán tự 朱雀

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 Zhuque in Chinese, Suzaku in Japanese, Jujak in Korean and Chu Tước in Vietnamese. 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) are legendary ruler of birds 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:[1][2]

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.


Four SymbolsMansion (Chinese name)RomanizationTranslationAsterisms (Chinese name)RomanizationTranslationWestern star nameChinese star nameRomanizationTranslation
Vermilion Bird of the South


Guǐ Ghost 外廚 Wàichú Outer Kitchen
2 Hya外廚一Wàichúyī1st star
3 Hya / HD 74395外廚二Wàichúèr2nd star
14 Hya外廚三Wàichúsān3rd star
Liǔ Willow Liǔ Willow[3]
δ Hya
柳宿一Liǔsùyī1st star
柳宿距星LiǔsujùxīngSeparated star
柳宿西头第三星Liǔsuxītoudìsānxīng3rd star in the upper west
玉井西北星YùjǐngxīběixīngStar in northwest of Jade Well constellation
The thong
鹑火星ChúnhuǒxīngThe phoenix
σ Hya柳宿二Liǔsùèr2nd star
η Hya柳宿三Liǔsùsān3rd star
ρ Hya柳宿四Liǔsùsì4th star
ε Hya柳宿五Liǔsùwǔ5th star
ζ Hya柳宿六Liǔsùliù6th star
ω Hya柳宿七Liǔsùqī7th star
θ Hya柳宿八Liǔsùbā8th star
Xīng Star Xīng Star[4]
α Hya
星宿一Xīngsùyī1st star
星宿距星XīngsùjùxīngSeparated star
星宿中央大星XīngsuzhōngyāngdàxīngBig star in the center
τ1 Hya星宿二Xīngsùèr2nd star
τ2 Hya星宿三Xīngsùsān3rd star
ι Hya星宿四Xīngsùsì4th star
26 Hya星宿五Xīngsùwǔ5th star
27 Hya星宿六Xīngsùliù6th star
HD 82477 & HD 82428星宿七Xīngsùqī7th star
Zhāng Extended Net Zhāng Extended Net[5]
υ1 Hya張宿一Zhāngsùyī1st star
λ Hya張宿二Zhāngsùèr2nd star
μ Hya張宿三Zhāngsùsān3rd star
HD 87344張宿四Zhāngsùsì4th star
κ Hya張宿五Zhāngsùwǔ5th star
φ Hya張宿六Zhāngsùliù6th star
Wings Wings[6][7]
ν Hya翼宿五Yìsùwǔ5th star
HD 100307翼宿十八Yìsùshíbā18th star
HD 96819翼宿十九Yìsùshíjiǔ19th star
χ1 Hya翼宿二十Yìsùèrshí20th star
HD 102620翼宿二十一Yìsùèrshíyī21st star
HD 103462翼宿二十二Yìsùèrshíèr22rd star
Zhěn Chariot 青丘 Qīngqiū Green Hill[8]
β Hya
青丘一Qīngqiūyī1st star
土公西星TǔgōngxīxīngStar in the west of Official for Earthworks and Buildings constellation
HD 103596青丘二Qīngqiūèr2nd star
17 Crt[9]青丘三Qīngqiūsān3rd star
HD 100393青丘四Qīngqiūsì4th star
ξ Hya青丘五Qīngqiūwu5th star
ο Hya青丘七Qīngqiūqī7th star
軍門JūnménMilitary GateHD 104309軍門一Jūnményī1st star

See also


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