If you visit Japan at a time when local events are taking place, you can easily see that they often buy local Engimono (lucky symbols), like Okinawa’s Shisa, Kumamoto’s Kiji-uma, Shigaaki-yaki No Tanuki of Shiga prefecture, or Akabeko of Fukushima Prefecture … But when it comes to the national symbol of luck, people will definitely mention two things: the Magic Cat statue Tai – Maneki Neko and Daruma dolls.
Among them, the God of Finance is the most popular lucky symbol, as well as famous all over the world. So, how do these adorable cats originate, and should they be given for the New Year – the year of the Rat? Let’s find out through the article below.
Around the 17th century (Edo period, specifically the Tokugawa shogunate period), there was a poor monk living at a small temple in Tokyo. Despite a difficult life, he still shared his meager meal with his pet cat, Tama. One day, Lord Nakaota Ii of Hikone district on his way to hunt suddenly encountered a rainstorm that had come to stay at a big tree near the temple.
He noticed that the cat held up one leg as if beckoning him into the temple. Curious, he left his hiding place and headed for the temple to get a better look at the strange cat. At the same time, a bolt of lightning struck the tree where he stood. Grateful to the cat, the lord became the patron of the temple, repaired it to become more spacious and changed its name to Gotokuji Temple in 1697. When Tama died, he was buried in the cemetery for cats in in the temple and the statue of Maneki Neko is made to commemorate this special cat was born from there.
Maneki Neko statues at Gotokuji temple.
In addition, in 2007, the Hikone city government created a mascot to mark the 400th anniversary since Hikone Castle was built. This mascot is the cat Hikonyan, who won first prize in the contest to open the mascots of other mascots in 2010. But of course, Hikonyan is far from being able to match the “senior” Cat of Fortune.
Hikonyan, the mascot inspired by Maneki Neko
II. Meaning and classification
The name Maneki Neko (kanji: 招 猫 猫 hiragana ね ね き ね こ) can be understood as Cat Calling or Chieu Tai Cat (Chinese-Vietnamese character is Chieu, the word 猫 is Miêu [neko – ねこ]). Since its inception, Maneki Neko has been considered a symbol of luck, bringing good fortune to the family and shops that store statues at the entrance. If you have the opportunity to visit Japan, you will see this cat image at most shops, companies or banks here.
The genius cat is usually waving his left leg or both of his front paws. The importance of waving left or right depends on the time and location. It is believed that waving the left foot will receive many customers and good fortune, while waving the right foot will bring good luck and fortune. Cats bring up both paws means protection, helping domestic servants, the business is always peaceful and convenient.
Reportedly, cats with raised left paws are often considered to be female cats, which are suitable for display at business and business venues; The right-footed cat is often thought to be a male, suitable for display in the office and in the home.
The colors of lucky cats also have their own distinctive meanings. The genius cat is traditionally a Japanese tailed cat with three white, yellow, black. However, cats of genius today have more diverse colors. For example, black will bring health, banish evil spirits; red will bring luck, peace, and success in relationships such as coworkers, love; The yellow color symbolizes wealth and wealth.
However, calico cats are still the most popular and the most fortunate cat
Unlike Daruma dolls, the Talented Cat has much stronger “coverage”. Today, you can easily see their images appear everywhere, such as shops or department stores. And so, the gift, or buy Cat Fortune in the year of the Rat year also does not make the meaning, feng shui affected, but on the contrary also brings luck to the homeowner.
Posts refer to material from the page meothantai.net