What is Maneki Neko?
Maneki Neko is a cat figurine. However, it is not just any kind of cat figurine. The one which sits and has it's front paw raised as if it is calling for someone is the only one that can be called a "Maneki Neko".
It just sits in your house or in your store. But it does bring the luck, the fortune and the customers into your store. It does invite the happiness to your home!
It works as a kind of lucky charm in Japan.
In the 17th century, there was a rundown and poverty-stricken temple called Goutoku in Tokyo. The temple's priest was very poor, but he shared what little food he had with his pet cat, Tama.
One day, a wealthy and important samurai Naotaka Ii, Lord of Hikone castle, was caught in a storm while hunting and he took refuge under a big tree near the temple. While he waited for the storm to pass, the man noticed a cat beckoning him to come inside the temple gate.
This was so startling that he left the shelter of the tree to have a closer look at this unusual cat. At that moment, the tree was struck by lightening.
As a result, the wealthy man became friends with the poor priest, and the temple became prosperous. The priest and his cat never went hungry again.
When Tama died he was buried in the Goutokuji Temple's cat cemetery with respect and love, and the Maneki Neko was made in honor of him. A Maneki Neko in your place of business, your home or on your website is said to bring in good luck and visitors.
Maneki Neko is Japanese for "beckoning cat." The message he's holding says "Please come in. You are welcome!" and he is beckoning you with his paw . (In Japan, the gesture of beckoning is pretty much the reverse of the gesture used in the West.)
Whether you believe in this kind of thing or not, he's a cute little cat with a gracious message, and he does brighten up a home or a web page!
You can get your own Maneki Neko from ActionCat with this one request: that you link it to an animal welfare site... a shelter, a charity, a campaign page; any website that helps animals. That way the little Maneki Neko can go on doing good deeds.
There are two different kinds of Maneki Neko. One raises its left paw. The other raises its right paw. The legend specified that the one with its left paw up invited customers or people, and the one with its right paw up invited money or good fortune.
This belief might have originated from the legend of the magical black cat. The black Maneki Neko has gained popularity among the ladies to ward off stalkers.
with some other colors