Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Chinese myth., a fabulous bird of good omen said to appear when a sage is about to ascend the throne, or when right principles are about to triumph throughout the empire. It is usually called the Chinese phenix, but seems, from the descriptions of it found in books, to resemble the Argus pheasant. It has not appeared since the days of Confucius. It is frequently represented on Chinese and Japanese porcelains and other works of art. Fung is the name of the male bird, and hwang of the female.
“There is the ch'i-lin among quadrupeds; the fung-hwang among birds; the T'ai mountain among mounds and ant-hills; and rivers and seas among rainpools.”
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