The maneki-neko is the best-known cat in Japan. A sculpture of a waving cat, which is often used as a good luck charm both in its original white version and in other colours.
This curious lucky cat can often be seen in Japan at store entrances, restaurants, different businesses, and in some temples. Its raised paw that seems to be waving is a calling gesture, inviting good luck to enter the place where it is placed.
Cats in Japanese culture
Cats are a beloved animal in Japanese culture. An animal surrounded by mysticism that for the Shinto religion is a symbol of fortune.
The figure of felines is usually also represented as a very mischievous animal, that is independent, but at the same time adorable. The Japanese love cats, which is why it is common to see depictions of them everywhere, as main characters in anime films, in Japanese manga, and even in the famous Japanese cat cafés that are spreading more and more throughout the country.
What is the Japanese maneki-neko?
The Japanese maneki-neko is a cat that calls luck. Represented by a white Japanese bobtail cat, it has one of its paws raised to the height of its ear with the palm out. It has some amulets such as a coin in its belly, a crystal ball under its resting paw, and a bell fastened around its neck with a red ribbon.