•About this Yokai•
Maneki-Neko are considered to be a friendly variant of Bake-Neko, which often protect their owners from danger. - Stopping them from wandering into areas "where the cats gather" saving their lives from other more dangerous killer cats...
'Lucky Cat Statues': These famously fortunate feline figurines; are often mistakenly dubbed as "Chinese lucky cats" However: The "Maneki-Neko" or "beckoning cat" statues & stories actually originate from Tokyo Japan! – You'll often see small statues of them in the windows of shops & restaurants worldwide. Popular with merchants & small businesses, these good kitties are working hard to invite in more customers! –
• Right paw raised: means it's waving in fortune.
• Left paw raised: it's attracting more customers.
• Both paws raised: it's protecting the home, waving in happiness
(either way: it's an auspicious kitty indeed!)
There are also a variety of trinkets that it can hold including, but not limited to:
daruma dolls, orbs, lucky hammers & Lucky Red Tai (fish) & Octopus. However the most popular is the Solid Gold Koban Ryo Gold coin, which was worth a fortune back in the day: ¥1000 x 10 million!!
Though the exact origin of the statues is often debated, across japan there are many tales: typically ending with the cat heroically giving its life for its owners – the most famous tale goes something like this:
"The legend of Gotoku temple...
Once upon a time, a famous general was going out to hunt for wild boar, when he was interrupted by pouring rain. taking shelter, he stood underneath a very large old tree. while waiting, he saw a cat sitting at a run down shrine, washing its face on the front porch, it looked like it was waving him over. curious, the general went to go investigate, but just as he was about to pet the cat !!!KABOOM!!! Lightning struck the tree and a large branch fell where he was just standing. The general was so grateful that he became a patron of the temple, he even had a statue made for the kitty. since then the Maneki-Neko has been a symbol of good fortune for small business. – Today: Tokyo's Gotoku temple holds well over 1,000 donated Maneki-Neko statuettes!"
"Tortoiseshell calico" patterned bobtail cats are an almost exclusively female breed [less than 0.1% are male!] they have naturally bobbed tails (and as such are unlikely to become a Bakeneko or a Nekomata! (Another reason why they're considered lucky.) - Superstitiously; male torties were frequently brought aboard fishing boats to ward off storms, to hunt pests and hopefully bring in a good haul! (a particularly talkative breed, sometimes it's said that they will sing for their owners!)
See also: Bakeneko, Nekomata, Nekomusume.
Sticker Art by @Samkalensky (yo thats me!) - Part of my Night parade of 100 Demons - Yokai & Japanese folklore sticker collection, weather-resistant 4" Glossy sticker. Check my shop & follow @samkalensky for many more!