Japanese Waving Cat
For some time now I have noticed a local doughnut shop has a gold cat that sits on the counter behind the register whose paw goes up and down in a waving motion. I wondered what the significance was. I knew there must be a story behind it. Indeed there is.
The Waving Cat, also known as the Maneki Neko, which means “beckoning cat” goes by several names. It is sometimes called the Money Cat, the Lucky Cat, or the Fortune Cat. Is a common Japanese item that is believed to bring good luck and fortune to the owner. Some say that a raised left paw attracts money, while a raised right paw protects it. Some believe the left paw attracts customers, while the right paw brings good luck. I believe theirs displays the right paw which makes sense that it is positioned near the cash register.
To those of us in the U.S. it appears that the cat is waving. However, this gesture is a beckoning gesture in Eastern cultures.
The Origin of the Maneki Neko
The exact origin of the Maneki Neko is uncertain but it can be traced back at least to the mid to late 1800s. Some believe a cat is a lucky creature. Various people will give various stories about the legend of this cat. Each story is quite elaborate and different than than the others. If you'd like to read some of theories of it's origin, some of them can be found on Wikipedia.
The Maneki Neko is popping up in more and more places these days. Microsoft Windows 7 has even introduced a Maneki Neko as one of their user icons.
Sample of a Ceramic Maneki Neko Japanese Waving Cat
Example of the Battery-Operated Cat
Add the Maneki Neko to Your Collection for Good Luck
The Maneki Neko would make a great gift or to collect yourself. It certainly can't hurt to have a symbol of good luck and prosperity adorning your home or place of business!
To Learn More
- Maneki Neko by Sushi Cat - Maneki Neko The Beckoning Cat with Happy Bonus Sushi!
Maneki Neko the Japanese Fortune Cat - a website dedicated to the beckoning cat, featuring photos of my collection, the legend of Maneki Neko, FREE downloads including wallpapers, icons, Games, Ecards and so much more!
- Maneki Neko - Beckoning Cat of Japan, One of Japan\'s Most Popular Lucky Charms
Maneki Neko - Lucky Charm in Japan. Japanese Buddhism and Shintoism Photo Dictionary