Discover the Maneki-neko: Japanese lucky cats
The manekineko is a Japanese symbol of luck and prosperity. It is represented by a cat (or sometimes a kitten) holding a raised paw, often holding a coin or a hairball. It is often used as a decorative object, especially in shops and restaurants.
The history of the manekineko dates back to the Edo period (1603-1868) in Japan. There was a popular belief that cats had the ability to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck to people. Shopkeepers began placing ceramic cat statues at the entrance to their shops to attract customers and prosperity.
Over the years, manekineko ceramics became more popular and became a common cultural symbol in Japan. It is now used as a good luck charm for business and personal life, and is often given as a gift to family and friends. It has also become popular in other parts of the world, including Asia and North America, as a symbol of good luck and good fortune.
There are several variations of the manekineko, each with a different meaning. For example:
the manekineko holding a coin is believed to attract wealth and financial prosperity.
the manekineko holding a raised paw is supposed to attract customers for business.
the manekineko holding a sake stick is supposed to attract good fortune and prosperity in social life and relationships.
There are also differences in the colour and position of the cats, such as the white maneki-neko which is supposed to attract peace and serenity, or the black maneki-neko which is supposed to attract protection from evil spirits.
It is also interesting to note that legend has it that the first manekineko was created for a Shinto temple in the Wakayama region of Japan, where a priest noticed a cat inviting travellers into the temple by raising its paw. So he created a cat statue to attract people into the temple.
In conclusion, the manekineko has become a popular cultural symbol in Japan and around the world, used to attract luck, prosperity and good fortune in business, personal life and relationships.