Maneki Neko (招 き 猫) - Japanese lucky cat

Maneki Neko, a tradition of Japan:

Maneki Neko is a Japanese figurine depicting a lucky cat with a raised paw, which brings good luck to the owner.

Some proverbs about Maneki Neko claim that if the cat washes its head with its paw raised, it will rain and fill the shops with customers.


Maneki Neko and his legend ...

the most famous legend about the Maneki Neko tells that the mythical Japanese cat Tama, in a bad weather day, found himself under a big tree with the Lord Daymio Li Naotaka who was sheltering from the storm and lightning, and showed him the way to a neighbor Zen sanctuary, inhabited by a poor monk. The cat brought good luck to the gentleman because, as soon as he left the tree, it was struck by lightning. The salvation of lord Li Naotaka gave birth to the legend of the lucky cat. The lord rewarded the monk, began to protect the sanctuary, and also made sure that the temple, dedicated ever since to this particular lucky cat, known as the Japanese Maneki Neko cat, became large and rich.


The Maneki Neko Temple ...

The temple of the Japanese cat legend that saved Daymio Li Naotaka's life is located near Tokyo.

His name is Gōtoku-ji and every lover of Maneki Neko should visit him. Contains a large number of Maneki Neko of all sizes. Lucky Cats are also brought here by people as thanks, after Maneki Neko has actually given them happiness or helped them fulfill their wishes.


Initial mentions of Maneki Neko ...

the exact origin of the Japanese fortune cat is not known, but the first mention of Maneki Neko dates back to 1852: the sale of Maneki Neko in the Senso Temple in Tokyo is mentioned. In 1876, during the Meiji era, another pilgrimage site in Osaka was offered to the kimono-clad Maneki Neko.

A later article appears in a 1902 newspaper, stating the popularity of the Maneki Neko.


Shape, materials and colors of the Maneki Neko ...

the Japanese cat Maneki Neko does not have a defined size, it can have all sizes; the colors are usually white, black and gold. Modern Maneki Neko are made of ceramic or plastic. Each lucky cat usually bears the words "luck come come"


Where we find the Maneki Neko ...

the Lucky Cat is usually found in the entrance of houses, shops, restaurants or hotels, from where it invites you to enter with your left paw or right paw raised and welcomes people, thus bringing happiness to residents and owners.

Article written by Vladimir Zaicek, Maria Grazia Simeone, Marco Morelli

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