Maneki Neko

If you want an attention-grabbing Japanese decoration that has a fascinating history. And is based on several urban legends, you should consider acquiring a Maneki Neko statue. These cute cat figures waving at us are an ancient symbol of Japanese culture! Just like the daruma or the Omamori talisman, the Maneki Neko brings good luck and attracts good fortune!

Maneki Neko History

Legend has it that a cat was lounging outside the door of a Shinto shrine when it saw a samurai. The Japanese warrior was sheltering under a tree because the storm was raging. He saw the cat who, according to him, motioned to approach. When he left his shelter, a lightning bolt cut the tree in half!

To thank the cat, he financed the temple so that the monk who lived there and his cat lacked nothing. The daimyo (Samurai leader), made the temple a spiritual and resting place for his family. The shrine later became Gotokuji Temple!

A Maneki Neko statue was built in the effigy of the cat and this is how according to this Japanese folklore the cat Maneki Neko was transformed into a symbol of luck. The left leg that moves is a reference to this Japanese legend!

Maneki Neko Origin

While many agree that the samurai traveler is the original story of the Maneki Neko, some believe that it actually originated in China.
However even if this cute little cat is popular in China and especially through the feng shui movement in China, its origin is indeed Japanese.

Maneki Neko Paw Meaning

There are three different gestures for Maneki Neko. Here is their meaning:

Maneki Neko left paw raised: A Maneki Neko waving with his left paw invites people into the building he is sitting next to.

Maneki Neko right paw raised: The Maneki Neko waving with the right leg is said to bring money and good fortune, usually in a commercial sense.

Maneki Neko two paws up: A statuette of a Japanese cat with both legs raised is a combination of the two mentioned above. This lucky cat invites people/customers to come in and is said to bring money and good fortune as well.

Maneki Neko Color Meaning

Maneki Neko comes in several colors, each with its own meaning.

Maneki Neko Tricolour

The most common is the tricolor cat. The tricolor Maneki Neko is said to bring good luck to its owner because it is modeled on the short-tailed Japanese cat: the bobtail.

Maneki Neko white

The all-white Maneki Neko is supposed to bring happiness and purity to its owner.

Maneki Neko gold

If you get a gold Maneki Neko, it will bring you great wealth.

Maneki Neko red

The red Maneki Neko cat keeps the disease away, especially in children. This is also the case for the lucky charm Daruma red!

The pink Maneki Neko

It is ideal for those with a sense of romance as this cat is supposed to bring love into your life.

Maneki Neko green

The green Maneki Neko should probably be distributed during the first week of college as it is supposed to bring prosperity to your studies.

Maneki Neko black

Perhaps the most fascinating of all colors is the black Maneki Neko. While black cats in Western culture are considered a symbol of bad luck, the black Maneki Neko figurine is believed to ward off stalkers and evil in general.

Maneki Neko Attributes

The Maneki Neko is usually decorated with a bib, collar or bell. It is a sign of wealth that dates back to the Edo period, when families dressed their cats to show their economic status. While one leg beckons to those passing the Maneki Neko, the other usually holds something and each of the things the Maneki Neko holds represents something slightly different Maneki

Neko with a koban

If the Maneki Neko seizes a koban, which is a coin from the Edo period, this is supposed to represent the wealth that is brought to the owner of the Maneki Neko.

Maneki Neko Koi Carp

Some cats hold a fish, it is also a sign of good fortune. Koi carp is a symbol of strength in Japanese folklore!

Maneki Neko Mallet

If you see a Maneki Neko with a small hammer, know that it is a magic mallet. It brings the richette when you shake it!

Maneki Neko with the magic ball

You can sometimes see the Maneki Neko holding a small marble or precious stone. It is believed to be a magic ball that brings wisdom to its owner.

Maneki Neko with a water bottle

If your Maneki Neko is holding a water bottle, it's supposed to ward off evil spirits. 8. Japanese party dedicated to this cat!

Where to position the Japanese Lucky cat?

Did you know that the placement of your cat is important to get the most out of it? Here's everything you need to know to get as lucky as possible.

At work, you have to place it near a public entrance. It must be seen as much as possible... If that's not possible, place it northwest of your office. Also note that the positioning of your lucky charm is not the same depending on the color of the cats. Here are all our tips!

  • Golden Maneki Neko: If you have a gold Maneki Neko and you want prosperity for your children or have increased creativity, place the cat in the west corner.
  • Black Maneki Neko: If you want better health, place a black Maneki Neko in the eastern part of the house.
  • Maneki Neko: pink or red Maneki Neko can improve your romantic relationship if you place it in the southwestern part of the house. It will bring success or fame if it is placed in the south corner of the house or apartment!
  • Green Maneki Neko: Romance, education, travel and writing will be facilitated if the green Maneki Neko is placed in the southern or south-eastern part of the house.
  • White Maneki Neko: the white Maneki Neko can also be placed in the northwestern part of the house to promote your travel desires!

So choose wisely the location of your Japanese lucky charm Maneki Neko.