On this page, we will disseminate information about the myths and good luck charms of each country. We hope to eventually make it as useful as a dictionary.
The four mythological creatures (Shijinjyu / 四神獣)
In Chinese mythology, it is said that there are four spirit beasts that control the four directions of heaven (east, west, north, south). The four mythological creatures (God Beasts) are called Genbu (Black Turtle), Seiryu (Blue Dragon), Suzaku ( Vermilion Bird ), and Byakko (White Tiger).
Transmission to Japan
The Four God Beasts were transmitted to Japan in the ancient times of China. Heian-kyo, which prospered in Kyoto during the Heian period, was a feng shui city selected by the four gods-oriented orientation theory. The Kotohira Palace (金刀比羅宮) Torii Gate at Toranomon (虎ノ門) in Tokyo has a beautiful sculpture of the Four God Beasts. As described above, the four God Beasts are deeply rooted in Japan and are said to be good for good luck prayer. the four God Beasts have the direction, the season, and the color that symbolizes them. In accordance with the Chinese five elements (Gogyou / 五行) thought, it may be used by placing a ‘Kirin’ or “Oryu” (yellow dragon) in the center of the Four God Beasts.
The four God Beasts and twenty-eight mansions (28星宿 / 28 seishuku)
There is an idea of astronomy that divides the celestial sphere into 28 areas (Seishuku / 星宿) unevenly, 28 seishuku are divided into 7 groups of 4 directions, and It is thought that we apply figure of four god beasts of each direction such as Blue Dragon (East), Black Turtle (North), White Tiger (West), and Vermilion Bird (South) to each direction. Please refer to Wikipedia for details of 28 mansions.
The direction, season, and five elements of the four god beasts
Byakko (White Tiger / 白虎)
*Direction : West *Season : Autumn *Five elements : Metal *Colour : White
Genbu (Black Turtle / 玄武)
*Direction : North *Season : Winter *Five elements : Water *Colour : Black
Seiryu (Blue Dragon / 青龍)
*Direction : East *Season : Spring *Five elements : Wood *Colour : Green (Blue)
Suzaku (Vermilion Bird / 朱雀)
*Direction : South *Season : Summer *Five elements : Fire *Colour : Red (Vermilion)
Kirin (Chinese legendary creature / 麒麟 / qilin)
*Direction : Central *Season : Doyo (canicular days) *Five elements : Earth *Colour : Yellow
Oryu (Yellow Dragon / 黄龍)
Instead of Kirin *Direction : Central *Season : Doyo (canicular days) *Five elements : Earth *Colour : Yellow
Benefits of four god beasts
- Byakko (White Tiger / 白虎) : economic fortune, gambling, family safety, and prosperous business
- Genbu (Black Turtle / 玄武) : longevity and good health
- Seiryu (Blue Dragon / 青龍) : business and examination
- Suzaku (Vermilion Bird / 朱雀) : love, marriage, and the lasting prosperity