During the Han Dynasty, it was believed that the tiger was the king of all beasts. According to legend the tiger’s tail would turn white when it reached the age of 500 years. In this way, the white tiger became a bit of a mythological creature. It was also said that the white tiger only appeared when the emperor ruled with total virtue, or if there was peace throughout the world. Because the color white of the Chinese five elements also represents the west, the white tiger thus became a mythological guardian of the west.