TNT: Chinese Mythological Creatures Part 1

Michael Blaker
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Michael's blog, Windborne's Story Eatery.

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering a bit of mythology! It’s all about Chinese Mythological Creatures Part 1!

The Four Symbols of China: Traditionally there have been four creatures that have represented the four cardinal directions and seasons in China and other Asian countries. They are the White Tiger, Azure Dragon, Black Turtle and the Vermillion Bird.

White Tiger: The White Tiger is the symbol of the West and Autumn, it also has been incorporated into the five element system, a topic I’ll cover another day, and represents the Metal Element. Often associated with peerless strength in many works of fiction, such as in Martial God Asura. It can also be associated with the more western element of Wind, although in some fictional works this trait is given to the Azure Dragon instead.

Azure Dragon: The Azure Dragon is the symbol of the East and Spring. In the five element system is represents Wood, an element also associated with the more western element of Wind and/or Lightning. The Azure Dragon is also often given the attribute of peerless speed in many works of fiction.

Black Turtle: The Black Turtle is the symbol of the North and Winter, and is the symbol of Water in the five element system although in some works of fiction like Coiling Dragon they are associated with the more western element of Earth or Stone. The Black Turtle is also most commonly attributed to peerless defense.

Vermillion Bird: The Vermillion Bird is the symbol of the South and Summer. It is also attributed almost solely with the element of fire, although the Vermillion Bird may not be the Phoenix in some works, as the Phoenix may be a separate creature entirely like in Against the Gods. In terms of physical attributes the Vermillion Bird is often associated with the concept of vitality and occasionally with strength although this is a trait more commonly attributed to the White Tiger.

That’s it for this week’s Translation Necessary Thursday!

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