Vermilion Bird
Zhūquè sculpture on an eaves tile
Literal meaning"Vermilion Peafowl"

The Vermilion Bird (Chinese: 朱雀; pinyin: Zhūquè) 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 (Chinese: 南方朱雀, Nán Fāng Zhū Què). It is described as a red bird that resembles a pheasant with a five-colored plumage and is perpetually covered in flames. It is known as 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.[1] The Fenghuang 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.

Seven Mansions of the Vermilion Bird

As with the other three Symbols, there are seven astrological "Mansions" (positions of the Moon) within the Vermilion Bird. The names and determinative stars are:[2][3]

Mansion no. Name (pinyin) Translation Determinative star
22 (Jǐng) Well μ Gem
23 (Guǐ) Ghost θ Cnc
24 (Liǔ) Willow δ Hya
25 (Xīng) Star α Hya
26 (Zhāng) Extended Net υ¹ Hya
27 (Yì) Wings α Crt
28 (Zhěn) Chariot γ Crv

Nature of the symbol

The Vermilion Bird on the gates of a Han dynasty mausoleum complex

The Vermilion Bird is elegant and noble in both appearance and behavior, with feathers in many different hues of vermilion. It is very selective about what it eats and where it perches.[citation needed]


Four Symbols Mansion (Chinese name) Romanization Translation Asterisms (Chinese name) Romanization Translation Western star name Chinese star name Romanization Translation
Vermilion Bird of the South


Guǐ Ghost 外廚 Wàichú Outer Kitchen
2 Hya 外廚一 Wàichúyī 1st star
3 Hya / HD 74395 外廚二 Wàichúèr 2nd star
14 Hya 外廚三 Wàichúsān 3rd star
Liǔ Willow Liǔ Willow[4]
δ Hya
柳宿一 Liǔxiùyī 1st star
柳宿距星 Liǔxiùjùxīng Separated star
柳宿西头第三星 Liǔxiùxītoudìsānxīng 3rd star in the upper west
玉井西北星 Yùjǐngxīběixīng Star in northwest of Jade Well constellation
The thong
鹑火星 Chúnhuǒxīng The phoenix
σ Hya 柳宿二 Liǔxiùèr 2nd star
η Hya 柳宿三 Liǔxiùsān 3rd star
ρ Hya 柳宿四 Liǔxiùsì 4th star
ε Hya 柳宿五 Liǔxiùwǔ 5th star
ζ Hya 柳宿六 Liǔxiùliù 6th star
ω Hya 柳宿七 Liǔxiùqī 7th star
θ Hya 柳宿八 Liǔxiùbā 8th star
Xīng Star Xīng Star[5]
α Hya
星宿一 Xīngxiùyī 1st star
星宿距星 Xīngxiùjùxīng Separated star
星宿中央大星 Xīngxiùzhōngyāngdàxīng Big star in the center
τ1 Hya 星宿二 Xīngxiùèr 2nd star
τ2 Hya 星宿三 Xīngxiùsān 3rd star
ι Hya 星宿四 Xīngxiùsì 4th star
26 Hya 星宿五 Xīngxiùwǔ 5th star
27 Hya 星宿六 Xīngxiùliù 6th star
HD 82477 & HD 82428 星宿七 Xīngxiùqī 7th star
Zhāng Extended Net Zhāng Extended Net[6]
υ1 Hya 張宿一 Zhāngxiùyī 1st star
λ Hya 張宿二 Zhāngxiùèr 2nd star
μ Hya 張宿三 Zhāngxiùsān 3rd star
HD 87344 張宿四 Zhāngxiùsì 4th star
κ Hya 張宿五 Zhāngxiùwǔ 5th star
φ Hya 張宿六 Zhāngxiùliù 6th star
Wings Wings[7][8]
ν Hya 翼宿五 Yìxiùwǔ 5th star
HD 100307 翼宿十八 Yìxiùshíbā 18th star
HD 96819 翼宿十九 Yìxiùshíjiǔ 19th star
χ1 Hya 翼宿二十 Yìxiùèrshí 20th star
HD 102620 翼宿二十一 Yìxiùèrshíyī 21st star
HD 103462 翼宿二十二 Yìxiùèrshíèr 22nd star
Zhěn Chariot 青丘 Qīngqiū Green Hill[9]
β Hya
青丘一 Qīngqiūyī 1st star
土公西星 Tǔgōngxīxīng Star in the west of Official for Earthworks and Buildings constellation
HD 103596 青丘二 Qīngqiūèr 2nd star
17 Crt[10] 青丘三 Qīngqiūsān 3rd star
HD 100393 青丘四 Qīngqiūsì 4th star
ξ Hya 青丘五 Qīngqiūwu 5th star
ο Hya 青丘七 Qīngqiūqī 7th star
軍門 Jūnmén Military Gate HD 104309 軍門一 Jūnményī 1st star

In popular culture

This article may contain irrelevant references to popular culture. Please remove the content or add citations to reliable and independent sources. (June 2022)

See also


  1. ^ Strassberg, Richard (2002). A Chinese Bestiary. ISBN 978-0520218444.
  2. ^ "The Chinese Sky". International Dunhuang Project. Archived from the original on 4 November 2015. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
  3. ^ 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 25 June 2011.
  4. ^ (in Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 5 月 28 日
  5. ^ (in Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 5 月 29 日
  6. ^ (in Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 5 月 30 日
  7. ^ (in Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 5 月 31 日
  8. ^ (in Chinese) 夢之大地 @ 國立成功大學 WebBBS DreamLand @ National Cheng Kung University WebBBS System
  9. ^ (in 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
  11. ^ Dr Lava (21 May 2019). "Gen 5 Historia: Pokemon Origin Stories (Part 3) Lost Pokemon, beta Pokemon, and design origins". LavaCutContent. Retrieved 22 February 2022.