I believe everyone has heard about this iconic lucky cat. The Maneki Neko is a really popular lucky charm in Chinese marketplaces, a talisman displayed to bring good fortune to the business.
What is a Maneki Neko? The beckoning cat is a figurine of a smiling cat, made of ceramic, metal or plastic, with an upright paw. This is actually a good luck charm from the Japanese culture, not Chinese. It has received a lot of different names among the Western culture such as the waving cat, lucky cat or happy cat.
The Maneki Neko Statue Legend
Here is a short story about the origin of the lucky cat. You will probably find some different versions on other websites but we have found this to be the most meaningful to this good luck statue.
This legend is about a wealthy man who stood under a tree to protect himself from a rainstorm. He was just looking at the rain when he saw a cat that seemed to be beckoning to him.
The cat then ran and he followed it under the rain until they both arrived at a temple near that place. Shortly, lightning struck the tree where the man had been standing under.
The man considered that cat as his savior, he was so grateful that he became a benefactor of the temple and brought a lot of fortune and prosperity to that place.
When the man passed away, the people from the temple built a cat statue in his honor. Since then it is considered a good luck charm.
Here we also have a small documentary made by Animal Planet about the origins of the Maneki Neko.
Japanese Lucky Cat Color Meanings
You will be able to find this statue of the popular Japanese waving cat in a lot of different colors and each one of these has also a different meaning. Choose the right one for your home or business depending on what kind of fortune you want to attract into your life.
Golden Cat: Probably the most popular waving cat among the Chinese stores. This one is used to bring wealth and prosperity to the business. It is rarely used in houses.
Black: Used exclusively as protection for the location where you place it. Wards off evil and stalkers.
Pink: Probably the perfect gift for your significant other. This cat will attract love and enhance relationships and romance.
Red: This cat will bring protection from evil and illnesses.
Green: Good for students. Attracts good education and opportunities for self-growth.
White: Happiness and purity.
Multi-colored cat: This kind of statue is a little bit rare to find, it is meant to bring general wealth, prosperity and luck.
Difference Between the Left and Right Paw of the Maneki Neko
You are going to find these cat statues in three different presentations. Some will display the right paw upward while others the left one.
The meaning of the raised paws may differ from place to place. If you see a Chinese store with a beckoning cat with both paws upward it means that they are trying to attract all of these things to the establishment.
Accessories of the Lucky Cat
You will see that these Japanese fortune talisman often are holding some particular object. This extra symbol is meant to increase the good luck for the owner along with some extra benefits.
Koban coin. This coin has the value of one Ryo, that back in the Edo period, was considered a huge fortune.
A marble or a gem. The spheric shape of the crystal ball is representing wisdom.
Small hammer. This one is also known as the Magic Money Mallet that represents wealth.
A fish. This is the popular Japanese symbol for abundance.
Maneki Neko Statues for Sale
You will find these waving cats in a lot of different presentations such as statues, keychains, paintings, and even solar-powered toys.
Choose the one that you like the most, they can be easily found in any Chinese store or also you can get some of the products from Amazon.com for express delivery.
First, we present you with probably the most popular design of this good fortune cat. This is a solar powered statue that also works with office and home lighting.
If you plan to bring good luck to your business this is exactly what you need. The entrance is the perfect position for this waving cat figure.
Now here is our favorite lucky cat made of Kutani ceramic. This is an original Japanese product from Ishikawa.
This Maneki Neko, in particular, was made using Deco-mori a unique painting technique. It is a technique so rare that only a handful of people know how to use it perfectly nowadays.
Next, we have the Maneki Neko coin bank. This adorable figure is filled with different Feng Shui symbols to bring wealth to your life and protect it.
It is said that the money that you put inside this bank will multiply ten times its value in the future.
Of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without this lucky cat pendant charm with a flower blossom background.
It is said that even carrying a picture of a waving cat with you will activate the talisman effects to bring good fortune wherever you go.
This is why some people decide to have a Maneki Neko tattoo on their bodies.
Finally here is an adorable plush toy of Hello Kitty featuring as a Maneki Neko of good fortune. This one will bring happiness into your life just by looking at it!
We can say that this is definitely the perfect gift as a wealth bringer and also as a toy for children.
If you have a Maneki Neko please share your experience with the community.
There are people who still do not believe in the power of this good luck charm but consider that you can buy one for a really cheap price and is also a beautiful piece of decoration. It is worth to try.