I have admire Maneki Neko cats for a very long time. The first time I spotted one at a Chinese restaurant, I was mesmerized by it and it stole my heart. Since then, I kept noticing them at businesses but I didn’t know the meaning. I saw them in many colors and textures, left or right paw up, sometimes both paws, but the basic figure was always the same, a colorful happy cat with one or two lifted paws as if saying hello. Many years later, still enchanted by these lucky cats, I broke down and got my first Maneki Neko (actually it was this past week – it took me 25 years to get one, finally).
Maneki Neko’s - the Beckoning Cat – origin is Japanese and it represents good luck, protection, prosperity, and good fortune. To own one is to wish that to yourself and to all who enter your home and business – this is why they are so common in Asian businesses and homes. Since I want this vibe for me and all who enter my home, I decided that admiring the Maneki Neko from afar was not good enough, and I brought one into my home. There are several stories about the origin of the Maneki Neko, and there is a temple which relates to one of those stories. This temple is visited by tourists and locals - it is called Gotokuji Temple. I read about it on this blog which is dedicated to Maneki Nekos – http://luckymanekineko.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/the-road-to-gotokuji/
Here you will find more information, pictures of different types of Maneki Nekos and the legends surrounding this cat.
Here is a picture of my Maneki Neko, which I have not named yet.
I am not responsible if you, as I was, become enchanted by it.