maneki-neko lucky cats bring good fortune to their owners
 
maneki-neko lucky cats bring good fortune to their owners
dec 04, 2013

maneki-neko lucky cats bring good fortune to their owners

maneki-neko lucky cats
shimane-ken, goutsu-shi, nagahama doll
the left paw is supposed to attract customers; while a raised right paw invites good fortune and money.
image © designboom

 

 

 

the maneki-neko (japanese: 招き猫?, literally beckoning cat) is a common japanese lucky charm typically made from ceramics, and is believed to bring good luck to its owner. the cat — gesturing with an upright paw — is displayed in shops, restaurants, pachinko outlets, and other businesses, and is produced most commonly in white, black, gold and occasionally in red.

 

according to the chunichi newspaper, the type of maneki-neko that sells the most has changed since 2008. before 2007, 90% of the lucky cats sold had their left paw up; and only 10% had their right paw up (to beckon money). however, in 2008, when the derivatives disaster almost wiped out the world’s economy (the lehman shock), suddenly, lucky cats with both paws up became popular. to make sure that nobody would interpret this as a signal of ‘I give up!’, lucky cat makers created a feline that has one paw raised slightly higher than the other paw. now 70% of lucky cats sold have both paws raised, 20% have the right paw raised (money) and 10% have the left paw raised (customers). 

maneki-neko lucky cats bring good fortune to their owners

ishikawa-ken, kanazawa-shi
kanazawa papier mache –  maneki neko, manegi neko (lucky cat)
image © designboom

 

 

 

lucky cats first appeared during the edo period in japan (17th century to mid-19th century). tri-colour cats are the most common.

 

white cat: purity, happiness
black cat: safety, wards off evil
golden cat: wealth and prosperity
red cat: protection from evil & illness
pink cat: love, relationships and romance
green cat: educations/studies

maneki-neko lucky cats bring good fortune to their owners

miyagi-ken, sendai-shi, tsutsumi doll
the fish is symbolic of abundance and good fortune
image © designboom

maneki-neko lucky cats bring good fortune to their owners

yamagata-ken, yonezawa-shi
sahara doll – neko ni tako (cat and octopus)
image © designboom

maneki-neko lucky cats bring good fortune to their owners

kyoto-fu, kyoto-shi
fushimi doll – kuro maneki neko (black lucky cat)
image © designboom

maneki-neko lucky cats bring good fortune to their owners

tokyo-to, taito-ku
imado shrine – kechien maneki neko (lucky cat for making a connection)
image © designboom

maneki-neko lucky cats bring good fortune to their owners

ilove.cat – running until december 16th, 2013 inside the toraya store in tokyo midtown, ‘amai neko’ (sugary cats) feature cat-themed sweets and folk crafts in the form of miniature regional dolls — i.e. a dozen and more variations on the maneki-neko from different parts of japan.
image © designboom

 

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