Lucky Cat ( Maneki Neko) i i j

At Kansai International Airport in Osaka, three cat-figurines welcome visitors with taped greetings in seven different languages. Those figurines are called "ManekiNeko" in Japanese, which literally means "beckoning cat".

A Maneki neko is a traditional Japanese good luck charm. Storekeepers often display maneki neko in their stores in the hope of good business.

It is said that a maneki neko raising its right paw brings happiness or money, and one raising its left paw invites people or customers. It is also said that the higher the cat raises its paw, the greater the distance the luck will come from.

Maneki neko date back to the Edo period(17`19C). Some legends about cats are often quoted as its origin. For example, one cat saved the life of its mistress, or another cat contributed to its master's business.

The pose of the maneki neko is believed to come from a gesture of a cat washing its face. There is a saying that when a cat washes its face, it will rain, or a guest will come. It makes sense because cats are sensitive to the changes of humidity or to approaching persons.

As a souvenir for Western people, there is what we call a Dollar Cat, which has blue eyes, and a dollar coin instead of a Japanese Koban(an oval gold coin). Another interesting thing about the cat is the direction of its paw. The Dollar Cat shows the back of the paw, whereas an orthodox manekineko shows its palm, because in Japan as well as in other Oriental countries, people beckon others by showing their palms.

The color of a maneki neko is also notable. For example, white ones bring about happiness, gold ones invite money, black ones ward off evil spirits, and red ones keep plagues away.

In Onomichi, a city in the east of Hiroshima prefecture, one often encounters cats when strolling the alleys from one temple to another. The maneki neko has also joined this scene since 1997 when a "Maneki Neko Museum" was built in Nagae town. The street in front of the museum is now called "Fortune-inviting Street" and the shops along the street display signboards with maneki neko in different designs.

For those who are interested in maneki neko

ManekiNeko Club

http://www.geocities.co.jp/HeartLand-Namiki/9429/

Japan Local Toy Museum
http://www.maruyama.gr.jp/FootAndToy/nekomaneki1.htm

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At Kansai International Airport in Osaka, three cat-figurines welcome visitors with taped greetings in seven different languages. Those figurines are called "ManekiNeko" in Japanese, which literally means "beckoning cat".

A Maneki neko is a traditional Japanese good luck charm. Storekeepers often display maneki neko in their stores in the hope of good business.

It is said that a maneki neko raising its right paw brings happiness or money, and one raising its left paw invites people or customers. It is also said that the higher the cat raises its paw, the greater the distance the luck will come from.

Maneki neko date back to the Edo period(17`19C). Some legends about cats are often quoted as its origin. For example, one cat saved the life of its mistress, or another cat contributed to its master's business.

The pose of the maneki neko is believed to come from a gesture of a cat washing its face. There is a saying that when a cat washes its face, it will rain, or a guest will come. It makes sense because cats are sensitive to the changes of humidity or to approaching persons.

As a souvenir for Western people, there is what we call a Dollar Cat, which has blue eyes, and a dollar coin instead of a Japanese Koban(an oval gold coin). Another interesting thing about the cat is the direction of its paw. The Dollar Cat shows the back of the paw, whereas an orthodox manekineko shows its palm, because in Japan as well as in other Oriental countries, people beckon others by showing their palms.

The color of a maneki neko is also notable. For example, white ones bring about happiness, gold ones invite money, black ones ward off evil spirits, and red ones keep plagues away.

In Onomichi, a city in the east of Hiroshima prefecture, one often encounters cats when strolling the alleys from one temple to another. The maneki neko has also joined this scene since 1997 when a "Maneki Neko Museum" was built in Nagae town. The street in front of the museum is now called "Fortune-inviting Street" and the shops along the street display signboards with maneki neko in different designs.

For those who are interested in maneki neko

ManekiNeko Club

http://www.geocities.co.jp/HeartLand-Namiki/9429/

Japan Local Toy Museum
http://www.maruyama.gr.jp/FootAndToy/nekomaneki1.htm

Back