Maeki Neko

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  • #2127
  • East Asian East Asian (culture)
  • Domestic Domestic (attribute)
  • Friendly Friendly (behaviour)

A good luck cat seen all over Japan. The cat is usually depicted sitting down with its right paw in the air. Maeki Neko is used by shopkeepers to attract customers to their shops.

There are several stories of the origin of Maeki Neko. At one time a lord took refuge under a tree from a fierce storm. While catching his breath under the tree he saw a priest’s cat beckoning him to come inside the house. When he did, the tree he was under was struck by a powerful thunderbolt that would have killed him.

Another story tells of a woman who was forced to sell her cat due to extreme poverty. Later she dreamt of the cat who told her to make a living statue of it. When she awoke, she did just that and sold the statue. She made more and more clay statues and eventually run a successful business.

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