Today is the final painting involving the four gods of Chinese astrology: Byakko, Seiryuu, Genbu, and Suzaku. It’s also the end of the first “chunk” of this yokai project, involving the more animal-like yokai; as well as the end of the “questionable” yokai — creatures whose status as yokai isn’t 100% determined. Tomorrow I will continue with the next batch of 100% pure yokai, and in the 2nd batch we’ll be looking some more monstrous creatures.
Also known as the Vermilion Bird, Suzaku is the guardian god of the south, the representative of the element of fire, and a symbol of the summer. Don’t confuse it with the hou-ou/fenghuang/Chinese phoenix though — although they look similar, they are very different legendary beasts!
Suzaku is a being or elegance and nobility. He is extremely picky about where he will perch and what he will eat. Like many other legendary beasts we’ve seen, Suzaku is a common theme in pop culture today, including video games and animation. If you’ve played Final Fantasy or Pokemon, or watch Japanese anime, you will probably recognize this beautiful magical bird with bright red feathers.