The Story of Maneki Neko, The Japanese Lucky Beckoning Cat – Meanings and Facts

Maneki Neko cat is a kind of ornamental originated from Japan which forms as a cat made from porcelain or ceramic. Generally, the front leg either the right side or the left one is raised as if the cat were calling somebody. Many people believe that this ornamental is able to bring luckiness to the owner, therefore you will find this ornamental frequently displayed on shops, restaurants or other business places.

The Story about Maneki Neko cat.

There are many versions about the Maneki Neko cat history. One of those is the legend of Gotoku-ji. Gotoku-ji is a temple name in Setagaya, Tokyo. Based on the story, once upon a time, there is the possessor of Hikone domain named Li Naotaka was returning from hunt with his eagle and passed the front of the Gotoku-ji temple. At front of the gate, he saw a pet cat monk whereas the cat as though had called him to come in the temple. Then Li Naotaka followed the cat. After he came into the temple, suddenly the day was rain accompanying by lightning. Li Naotaka was very happy because he gets avoided from rain soaked.

To say thanks, Li Naotaka gave the temple a fund to improve the maneki neko cattemple to be a magnificent temple. When the cat had been died, there was a grave established by monks for the cat. Several times later, it was established a hall named Manekineko within the temple. And there was established a cat ornamental named Manegineko. The form is like a cat with the one front leg up.

lucky cat maneki nekoThe second version is the story from Jish?-in, a temple in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Once upon a time in Shinjuku, it was a swordsman named Ota Dokan whereas he got lost after his battle in battle of Egotagahara that makes him almost went down. Suddenly, it appeared a cat waving its front leg and invited him to take a rest in Jish?-in. after taking a rest; Ota Dokan recovered and won the battle. To say thanks to the cat, he made a statue of cat presented for the cat. At a later date, this statue formed a cat mentioned as the embryo of Maneki Neko cat.


japanese beckoning catThis maneki neko cat is considered to be thing good luck. Japanese get used to purchasing it when a new year coming. There are two types of raised front leg of Maneki Neko cat. The right front leg-raised maneki neko lucky cat means that it could make money come. On the other hand, the left front leg-raised one is believed to be able to attract many consumers to your business. there is a faith that the height of the raised front leg is related to the level of the lucky will be got whereas the higher the raised front leg, the higher the level of the fortune the owner will get.

The model of Maneki Neko cat is basically three-colored cat the manifold of Japanese Bobtail. The bobtail means that the tail is short like a rabbit. The Maneki Neko cat is outfitted with other colors like yellow gold and black. It also has some decorations attached on the neck. The type of the decoration could be a neckerchief, a bell, a collar or sometimes decorative bib.

japanese lucky catManeki Neko Cat on market

Maneki Neko cat is a classic example of kitsch which enables to be made with various colors, variety of models and decorative variations. This ornamental is also made with various forms of daily goods such as key ring, moneybox, miscellaneous ornaments or even air freshener. You are able to find this product in displays store or other market places. Generally, it is sold along with Kumade. Besides made from porcelain and ceramic, Maneki neko cat is also produced with plastic, wood, clay or even patchwork material. It is also called as fortune cat, feng shui cat or beckoning cat. Some products are also outfitted with electricity power to make the raised front leg beckoning as a real.