Maneki Neko: The Lucky Cat

The Maneki Neko, also known as the Lucky Cat or Fortune Cat, is a popular Japanese figurine that is believed to bring good luck to its owner. The cat is typically depicted sitting with one paw raised, and is often found in businesses and homes throughout Japan.

Picture by korokerokero

History of the Maneki Neko

The origins of this iconic cat are unclear, but there are several theories about how the figurine came to be. One theory is that the Maneki Neko is based on a real cat that lived in a temple in Gotokuji, Japan. The cat, named Tama, was said to have waved at a wealthy lord who was passing by the temple. The lord was so impressed by the cat’s gesture that he stopped to visit the temple, and he eventually became a generous benefactor.

Another theory is that the Maneki Neko is based on a Chinese folk tale about a cat that saved a family from a fire. The cat was said to have led the family to safety by waving its paw.


The little cat is a symbol of good luck and fortune. The raised paw is said to beckon good things to the owner, and the cat’s overall appearance is said to bring happiness and prosperity.

The color of the Maneki Neko also has significance. The most common color is white, which is said to represent purity and good luck. Other colors include:

  • Black: Protection against evil spirits
  • Gold: Wealth and prosperity
  • Red: Love and passion
  • Green: Good health and well-being
Picture by Srečni Maček

Japanese symbol of good fortune

The little cat is a popular symbol of good luck in Japan, and can be found in businesses and homes throughout the country. The figurines are also popular souvenirs for tourists.

If you are looking for a way to bring some good luck into your life, a Maneki Neko might just be the perfect thing for you!

Maneki Neko, Lucky Cat, Fortune Cat, Japanese figurine, Japanese culture, Japan Fans, Japanese Arts and Culture from the Centre of Utrecht
Japan Fan Martine did a digital drawing of Boris the Bengal Tigercat as a Maneki Neko!

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