Maneki Neko Japanese Lucky Cat Folklore and Gifts


Maneki Neko Candle

      I love cats and have groomed many as a Professional Petsylist.  I have had my own and also have family cats.  I have visited Japan and have seen cats living around temples and places I went.  I have recently had the opportunity to make a few candles and have been trying my hand at the Lucky Cat!

    The Lucky Cat is known as Maneki Neko in Japanese, which means “beckoning cat.” The cat has its paw raised as if it’s waving in good fortune for its owners. Other common monikers include Lucky Cat, Fortune Cat, Money Cat, Waving Cat, and Welcoming Cat.  We all need a little more luck this year wouldn't you agree?  

    Did you know that the raised paw actually has a meaning? When the left hand of the cat is raised it is said to bring luck to business while the right hand raised is for home or to invite customers or people. 

Since I love cats, enjoy folklore, and think Japan is amazing, I have decided to implement this cute little cat into my candle making. 

 Which you may find to be perfect for cat lovers as well and not just Maneki Neko enthusiasts.

White- lucky cats bring happiness
Black- protects a household from illness
Green and blue -bring academic success
Red- protects against evil
Yellow/Gold- invites wealth and prosperity
Pink- attracts love and romance

😽 There are many legends about the birth of Maneki-neko, of which the most popular is the legend of Gōtoku-ji temple. One of my favorite versions is about a poor monk in the 17th century who lived in the small Zen temple in Setagaya, Tokyo. 

His life was very difficult and he did not have much. However, he shared his own small meals with his pet cat which was a stray that showed up one day at the temple. 

On a normal sunny day, a lord samurai Ii Naotaka of the Hikone Domain district was on his way to hunt.

Suddenly without notice or expectation, a storm came, and he had to seek safety under a big tree near the temple. 

Sheltering there, he noticed the cat who seemed to be raising one paw as if waving him to the temple. 

He got up and left his cover and headed for the temple to have a better look at the cat. 

As he left the tree a huge bolt of lightning hit so hard that it blew the entire tree apart from which he had just been standing.

Nakaota was so grateful, he became the patron of the temple, repaired it to become more spacious. 

When the cat died, he was buried in a special graveyard for cats. In the temple, a statue of Maneki-neko was made to commemorate this special cat that has been revered ever since!

Another good story according to a folktale is of a poor operator of an impoverished shop.  He 
took in a starving stray cat even though he hardly had enough for himself. In gratitude, the cat sat in the front of the store beckoning customers, thus bringing prosperity to the man. 

Ever after, the "beckoning cat" has been a symbol of good luck for small business owners.

Thank you for reading the article today!  

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