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Lucky Cat symbolism

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maneki neko symbolism
The maneki neko (招き猫, aka “lucky cat”, “welcoming cat”, “beckoning cat”) is believed to be a symbol of good fortune. They are placed at the entrances of dwellings and businesses in Japan for this express purpose. The statue is always placed such that it faces the door to greet those who enter.

The colour, pose, and placement determine the intent of each particular statue. It's easy to find a lucky cat statue to suit your particular needs. Consider aqcuiring several statues in varying poses and colours to cover every possible intent. They display best as a large group anyway!

Every home should have at least one lucky cat statue to welcome guests. They make great gifts for both new homeowners and cat lovers. I have several of the small sumo-style ones in my collection in addition to some vintage statues.

The maneki neko statue

The primary accessories of the lucky cat are the collar with bell, the bib, and the golden coin tablet. Written on either the collar's tag or sometimes directly on the maneki neko statue itself is the word “neko” (猫), meaning "cat".

The coin carried by a maneki neko is a koban coin (10 million ryō) with the kanji for “10 million ryō” (千万両) on it. The ryō was a pre-Meiji Japan gold coin. It has since been replaced by the yen.

Which paw is up?

Tip: You can sometimes find two-cat pairs to cover both angles.

Maneki neko colour meanings

maneki neko colours Every colour of maneki neko has a particular symbolism. Choose the colour of your maneki neko statue according to your particular needs.

Lucky cat placement

Where to place your lucky cat? The best spot is at the entrance of your home or business. Lucky cats can then greet your visitors as they enter the building. Orient your cat to face the door as much as possible.

The maneki neko is also a protective symbol, so placement at the entry will guard one’s dwelling or business from evil influences.

Note: Keep your statue off the floor. The top of a table or desk is best.

Buddha Statues
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