The Maneki-Neko, Beckoning Cat


lucky catThe maneki-neko, beckoning cat, was born in a town of Edo in last of Edo era.It is one of the peculiar lucky mascots in Japan with Dharma doll and Fukusuke.

It has survived between Edo, Meiji, Taisho, Showa and Heisei era, five eras,  and continues causing fortune for the people. It is said that raising left hand is a “person invitation” and raising right hand is a “money invitation”. It reflected the change of the times, and various divine favor including the “love” ,”longevity” and “big hit of public lottery ” has been given.

maneki cat lego ceramic“Generally, a maneki-neko depicts a calico cat , but in recent years there have been not only traditional maneki-neko in white, red or black but also ones in pink, blue or gold. Each color has a different meaning, so that a blue maneki-neko is believed to bring ‘academic achievement’ or ‘traffic safety,’ and a pink one is believed to bring ‘good luck in love’ to the owner. In ancient Japan, a black cat symbolized an amulet or good fortune as ‘fukuneko’ (a good-luck cat) because it could see also in the night. Red was believed to be a color of protecting people from smallpox or measles, so a red maneki-neko referred to protection from infectious disease.” by Wikipedia

The record-breaking pet boom was coming combined with the popularity of the cat lover in the Heisei era, so a great variety of maneki-neko came to be made.  The artists who design a new style of a maneki-neko are increasing .
kutani maneki catcolourful cats

image from http://blog.livedoor.jp/hakodatedayo/,http://touasa.cocolog-nifty.com/ http://www.beamsshopblog.jp,http://www.lets-go-aichi.jp/,http://aushopzam.exblog.jp/ 

 

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