digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

Black Tortoise
Black Turtle
Wadang-xuanwu.jpg
The Black Tortoise depicted on a Chinese tile
Chinese name
Chinese 玄武
Literal meaning Dark Warrior
Mysterious Warrior
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese alphabet Huyền Vũ
Korean name
Hangul 현무
Hanja 玄武
Japanese name
Kanji 玄武
Hiragana げんぶ
Black Warrior of the North
Gilded copper, early 15th century. Hubei Provincial Museum.
A copper Black Tortoise from the Yongle era of the Ming dynasty (early 15th century)
Chinese 北方玄武

The Black Tortoise or Black Turtle is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations. Despite its English name, it is usually depicted as a turtle entwined together with a snake. Further, in East Asia, it is not called after either animal but is instead known as the "Black Warrior" under various local pronunciations. It is known as Xuan Wu in Chinese, Hyeonmu in Korean, Genbu in Japanese and Huyền Vũ in Vietnamese[1] . It represents the north and the winter season.

In Japan, it is one of the four guardian spirits that protect Kyoto and it is said that it protects the city on the north. Represented by the Genbu Shrine,[2] which is located to the north of Kyoto Imperial Palace.

The creature's name is identical to that of the important Taoist god Xuan Wu, who is sometimes (as in Journey to the West) portrayed in the company of a turtle and snake.

History[edit]

In ancient China, the tortoise and the serpent were thought to be spiritual creatures symbolizing longevity. The Fujianese custom of building turtle-shaped tombs may have had to do with the desire to place the grave under the influence of the Black Tortoise.[3][4] During the Han dynasty, people often wore jade pendants that were in the shape of turtles. Because of ancient Chinese influence on Japan, honorific titles and badges in Japan also often referred to the turtle or tortoise.

The northern gates of Chinese palaces were often named after the Xuanwu. Most famously, the Incident at Xuanwu Gate, where Li Shimin killed his brothers Jiancheng and Yuanji and seized power in a coup, took place at the north gate of the Taiji Palace, in the north of Chang'an.

Legends[edit]

Xuan Wu[edit]

Xuan Wu subduing the tortoise. Wudang Palace, Yangzhou.
Main article: Xuan Wu (god)
See also: Chinese alchemy

In the classic novel Journey to the West, Xuan Wu was a king of the north who had two generals serving under him, a "Tortoise General" and a "Snake General". This god had a temple in the Wudang Mountains of Hubei and there are now a "Tortoise Mountain" and a "Snake Mountain" on opposite sides of a river near Wuhan, Hubei's capital. Taoist legend has it that Xuan Wu was the prince of a Chinese ruler but was not interested in taking the throne, opting instead to leave his parents at age 16 and study Taoism. According to the legend, he eventually achieved divine status and was worshiped as a deity of the northern sky.

Other Chinese legends[citation needed] also speak of how the "Tortoise General" and a "Snake General" came to be. During Xuan Wu's study to achieve enlightenment and divine status, he was told that, in order to fully achieve divinity, he must purge all human flesh from his body. Since he had always eaten the food of the world, despite all his efforts, his stomach and intestines were still human. A god[which?] then came and changed his organs with divine ones. Once removed, the original stomach and intestines were said to have become a tortoise and a snake, respectively. The tortoise and snake became demons[citation needed] and terrorized people. Now divine, Xuan Wu heard of this and returned to slay the monsters he had unleashed on the countryside. However, as the snake and tortoise showed remorse, he did not kill them but instead let them train under him to atone for their wrongdoings. They then became the Tortoise and Snake generals and assisted Xuan Wu with his quests. (Another legend held that the mortal organs were tossed out to become Wuhan's Tortoise and Snake mountains.)

According to another source,[citation needed] once Xuan Wu had begun his study of the Way, he discovered that he must purge himself of all of his past sins to become a god. He learned to achieve this by washing his stomach and intestines in the river. Washing his internal organs, his sins dissolved into the water in a dark, black form. These then formed into a black tortoise and a snake who terrorized the country. Once Xuan Wu learned of this, he returned to subdue them as in the other story.

Astronomy[edit]

As with the other three Symbols, there are seven "mansions" (positions of the moon) within Black Tortoise. The names and determinative stars are:[5][6]

Mansion no. Name Pinyin Translation Determinative star
8 Dǒu (Southern) Dipper φ Sgr
9 Niú Ox β Cap
10 Girl ε Aqr
11 Emptiness β Aqr
12 Wēi Rooftop α Aqr
13 Shì Encampment α Peg
14 Wall γ Peg
A characteristic "turtle-back tomb" in Quanzhou, Fujian

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Huyền Vũ Ngô Gia Tự Hà Nội Việt Nam thiet ke cua hang thiet bi ve sinh
  2. ^ http://ojisanjake.blogspot.com/2011/07/genbu-shrine.html#.VCmSCL5_elI
  3. ^ de Groot, Jan Jakob Maria (1892), The Religious System of China III, Brill Archive, pp. 1082–1083 
  4. ^ 李永球 (Li Yongqiu) (2010-03-07), "各籍貫墳墓造型 (In every land, its own kind of graves)", Sin Chew Daily 
  5. ^ "The Chinese Sky". International Dunhuang Project. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  6. ^ 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 2011-06-25. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Tortoise — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
186900 videos foundNext > 

Sengoku Gensokyo GST - Black Tortoise ~The Seven Northern Mansions~

I'm currently running a Let's Play for Sengoku Gensokyo, found here: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=171346 This is the theme for each of the...

Let's Play C&C Red Alert 3 E24 Rage of the Black Tortoise

Let's Play C&C Red Alert 3 Episode 24.

Let's Play C&C Red Alert 3 E23 Assault on the Black Tortoise

Let's Play C&C Red Alert 3 Episode 23.

Fugue - Black Tortoise of the North

From the EP - Years Track 04 http://fugue.bandcamp.com/

Wohast - Tangmen PvP - Black Tortoise

Name: Wohast Server: Black Tortoise School: Tangmen Set: Golden Snake Sting.

My Black Tortoise reached 200lvl

9Dragons Tibet grind H6/7 WuTang Black Tortoise

Nixon The 42-20 Chrono All Black Tortoise

Nixon The 42-20 Chrono All Black Tortoise.

The Nixon 42-20 Chrono (All Black Tortoise)

http://www.boardco.com/nixon/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=1954 The 42-20 Chrono @ www.boardco.com/nixon WATER RESISTANCY: 200 Meters -- Can handle just about a...

Red Alert 3 Empire 06 "ความเดือดดาลของ Black Tortoise" part 1

ภารกิจจักรวรรดิ ที่ 6 ป้อมปราการของเรา ได้มาถึงอเมริกาแล้ว!!! เราต้องบุกยึดศูนย์กลางการสื่อสารของเมือง เพื่อเผยแพร่ไปทั่วโลก!!! part 1 of 2.

186900 videos foundNext > 

73 news items

 
Santa Barbara Independent
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 15:24:15 -0800

Malaya is an 8-year-old short-haired black tortoise-shell who is awaiting adoption through the Animal Shelter Assistance Program. This shy miss is a great conversationalist who will chirp at her favorite humans and even carry on a dialogue. Don't ...
 
LubbockOnline.com
Fri, 12 Dec 2014 13:56:15 -0800

The Keel, which comes in matte green, matte black, tortoise shell and crystal blue, looks very much like other brand-name fishing glasses, the standard-looking wraparound design the typical go-to model for most anglers. However, after sporting the blue ...

Ancient Origins

Ancient Origins
Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:25:56 -0800

These creatures are the Azure Dragon of the East, the White Tiger of the West, the Black Tortoise of the North, and the Vermillion Bird of the South. Apart from their astronomical significance, each of the Four Symbols is surrounded by various ...

Digital Journal

Digital Journal
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 22:59:50 -0800

... the four saint beasts in East Asian mythology starting with Rubrum representing Suzaku the Vermillion Bird, Milites representing Byakko the White Tiger, Concordia representing Seiryu the Azure Dragon, and Lorican representing Genbu the Black Tortoise.

moviepilot.com

moviepilot.com
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 04:16:40 -0800

... Magic, Militesi controls the White Tiger Crystal containing the power of science and weapons, Concordia controls the Azure Dragon Crystal containing the power of Dragons, and Lorica controls the Black Tortoise Crystal containing the power of the ...
 
WhaTech
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 16:08:29 -0800

Next we have Jin who is moved by a sublime mix of curiosity and wisdom, the versatile Jin embody the spirit of the Black Tortoise. A Jin has the widest range of class options, be it the cunning Assassin, the deadly Blademaster, or the adept Kung Fu Master.

マイナビニュース

マイナビニュース
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 22:10:50 -0800

第一弾モデル「Helvetica(ヘルベチカ)」「Garamond(ギャラモン)」につづいて、第二弾モデル「Din(ディン)」と「Futura(フーツラ)」が登場しました。 第一弾と同じく、フレームの太さを書体のウエイトのようにLight・Regular・Boldから、色もBlack・Tortoise(べっこう)・Clear、そして ...

OPENERS

OPENERS
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 17:30:00 -0800

第一弾としてリリースされた「Helvetica®」と「Garamond」につづいて、第2弾の「Din」と「Futura」が登場。色はBlack、Tortoise(べっこう)、Clearの3色展開で、眼鏡とサングラスが揃う。 また、TYPEの眼鏡は異なるフレームの太さ(Light、Regular、Bold)から、自分に合った眼鏡 ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight