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This confusion is entirely forgivable, as the composition of this group of four has changed over the centuries to reflect ever-changing traditions.Dragon; Ryū (Ryu) 龍 or Seiryū (Seiryu) 青龍 in Japan, Qinglong in China.
In Japan, the symbolism of the four creatures appears to have merged with and been supplanted by the Shitennō (Four Heavenly Kings).
Because of the astronomical significance, the White Tiger replaced the Ch’i-lin, and the Phoenix gave way to the Red Bird, which is of uncertain identity.
Thus the Tortoise was a later but not the last addition, for many mystical texts refer to the northern constellation not as the tortoise, but as the Black Warrior.” NOTE: The Chinese Ch’i-lin is known in Japan as KIRIN.
Ancient Chinese mythical animals associated with the four cardinal directions: green/blue dragon (Chn: Qinglong 青龍, Jp: Seiryuu) of the east; white tiger (Chn: Baihu 白虎, Jp: Byakko) of the west; red phoenix (Ch: Zhuque 朱雀, Jp: Suzaku) of the south; and black warrior (Chn: Xuan Wu 玄武, Jp: Genbu) of the north, a tortoise-like chimera with the head and tail of a serpent.
The pictorial theme developed around the Warring States to Early Han period in China.