It’s Not A Phoenix
That’s right, a Fenghuang. It’s kind of the eastern equivalent of the western Phoenix, but at the same time it’s not.
Although they are both fire-birds, the stories differ quite a bit from each other.
In the western world the Phoenix represents rebirth, immortality and renewal.
In the far east however, the Fenghuang is considered one of the four celestial creatures that the Chinese believed created the world.
The other three being the dragon, the unicorn and the tortoise. After the creation of the world, the heavens were divided into four quadrants, one for each creature: north, south, east and west; and Fenghuang ruled over the southern quadrant of heaven, which represented summer. Therefor it is commonly associated with the sun.
In China and Japan it was a symbol of the imperial house, and it represented, fire, the sun, justice, obedience, and fidelity.