All of the following words and kanji (and a few more obscure ones) seem to be used in Japanese, to describe a bird that is translated by "Phoenix" in English:
- フェニックス and even:
- 火の鳥 (thought this one seems to be more of an attempt at a description than a word used on its own)
不死鳥 is rather self-explanatory ("bird that doesn't die"), 鳳凰 is used in the name of the famous "phoenix hall" (鳳凰堂【ほうおうどう】) at the Byodoin (平等院【びょうどういん】) temple in Uji near Kyoto and, to my surprise, the katakana word does not refer only to the city, but also the bird.
It seems clear that there might be some entanglement between different mythical creatures (some Western, some Asian) that share some properties (immortality, relation with fire etc)...
Could anybody draw a clear taxonomy of all these birds and the relations between these Japanese names for me?