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Maneki-neko is a Japanese figurine of a cat with its paw raised in a beckoning motion. It is believed to bring good luck and fortune to its owner. The history of the Maneki-neko dates back to the Edo period (1603-1868) in Japan.
According to legend, a wealthy samurai was taking shelter from a storm under a tree near a temple in Tokyo. He noticed a cat sitting outside the temple, and as he watched, the cat raised its paw and beckoned him to come inside. The samurai followed the cat and moments later, a bolt of lightning struck the tree where he had been standing. The samurai was so grateful to the cat that he became a patron of the temple, and the cat was revered as a symbol of good fortune.
The popularity of the Maneki-neko increased during the Meiji period (1868-1912), when it became a common decoration in shops and businesses. The figurine was believed to attract customers and bring prosperity to the business. Over time, different variations of the Maneki-neko were created, with different colors and poses of the cat’s paw.
Today, the Maneki-neko is a popular souvenir for tourists visiting Japan, and it is often displayed in homes, businesses, and restaurants. It is believed that a Maneki-neko with its left paw raised brings customers, while a right-pawed Maneki-neko brings good fortune and wealth. The Maneki-neko is also popular in other parts of Asia, including China and Korea, where it is believed to bring similar good luck and fortune.
A Collection of Sci-Fi and Fantasy illustrations by Darran Hight a.k.a. Doctor Multiverse, this was a labor of love. Please check it out… Thank you 🙂