Japanese Maneki Neko fortune cats with Golden Hammer and Daruma Doll

Female Maneki Nekos with golden hammer
Female Maneki Nekos with golden hammer | Source
Close-up view of golden hammer
Close-up view of golden hammer | Source
Close-up view of the koban
Close-up view of the koban | Source

Maneki Nekos with Golden Hammer and Daruma Doll

This is Part 2 of my Maneki Neko series and will feature a pair of female fortune cats holding golden hammer and one with Daruma doll.

(1) Female Maneki Neko

The cat is depicted as holding a golden hammer in the right hand while the other hand is in the usual beckoning gesture. At the bottom is the koban coin signifying ten million ryō. Koban and ryō are both Japanese currencies of ancient times.

Symbolism of the golden hammer and the koban

The hammer is symbolic of the magic mallet of Daikokuten (or Daikoku), the Japanese God of Wealth. A mallet is a wooden hammer with square head. It is believed that when shaken, coins fall out of the mallet.

As for the koban, it signifies abundance of wealth that the Maneki Neko will bring to its owner.


Maneki Neko with Daruma Doll
Maneki Neko with Daruma Doll | Source

(2) Maneki Neko with Daruma doll

The cat is shown to have a Daruma doll on the left, while the right hand is in the usual beckoning gesture. At the bottom, auspicious wordings can be seen, instead of the koban coin.

Daruma is the undisputed founder of Zen Buddhism. He is associated with undaunted spirit, resilience and determination.

Description of Daruma doll and its symbolism

The good luck doll has a threatening face and is mostly red in colour, as red is believed to ward off disease. Daruma is thus widely recognized in Japan as the preventer and healer of sickness.

Daruma doll by itself is usually made of papier-mâché and mostly in tumbler shape, always returning to an upright position when tilted over. This characteristic has come to symbolize the ability to have success, overcome adversity, and recover from misfortune.

So much for this Part 2. Do look out for my future hubs on this topic.



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