Maneki-neko. Japanese cat of happiness
Maneki-neko, or Japanese cat of happiness, first appeared in the country of the Rising Sun, but then "settled" around the world.
In the photo: maneki-neko, Japanese cat of happiness
What is a maneki, or a Japanese cat of happiness?
Maneki-neko, or the Japanese cat of happiness, literally translates as “beckoning cat”, “inviting cat” and “calling cat”, but also known as “Cat of Fortune” or “Money Cat”.
This is a sculpture made of ceramics or porcelain, which, according to legend, should bring good luck to the owner. The sculpture depicts a cat with a raised paw. Moreover, if the right paw is raised - this is money, and the left - to the influx of customers. There are figurines with two legs raised - probably these cats should attract everything - and more, more ...
Maneki-neko (Japanese cat of happiness) can hold his right or left foot up. Or even both.
What color is the Japanese maneki-neko happiness cat?
The figurine depicting a three-color cat with spots on white wool is considered traditional. After all, tortoiseshell cats are considered the most successful.
However, there are other colors:
Pink maneki attracts love.
The white Japanese cat of happiness is the personification of purity.
The red figurine is able to protect the owner from disease.
The black cat will scare away evil spirits.
Golden sculpture will bring untold wealth.
On the picture:Maneki-neko (Japanese cat of happiness) of different colors.
How did the maneki-neko-Japanese cat of happiness appear?
There are several legends about the emergence of maneki-neko.
According to the first of them, the rector of the temple Gotoku-ji sheltered a homeless cat. The temple slowly fell into decay, but once a noble nobleman Ii Naotaka passed by. Downpour poured, and the nobleman had to hide under a spreading tree. Suddenly, Ia Naotaka noticed a cat beckoning him with his paw. The nobleman approached the animal, and then the tree under which he took refuge was struck by lightning. Ii Naotaka came to the temple and in gratitude that the temple cat saved his life, donated funds for the restoration of the sanctuary. Since then, the ministers have held a ceremony dedicated to cats, and at the temple, figures of the Japanese cat maneki-neko are sold.
However, there is another version. That the cat lived in an abandoned temple, but every morning she went out onto the road and waved her paw, inviting passers-by to the temple. People could not resist such an invitation, and soon a lot of people began to visit the temple, who did not forget about the offerings. Thanks to the cat, the temple began to flourish.
The third legend is related to the courtesan Usugumo from Yoshiwara. She adored cats, but once her beloved cat clung to her, trying to lure into another room. At the cry of a courtesan, a guard came running and killed a cat. Dying, the unfortunate cat managed to strangle a snake lurking in the room and thereby saved the life of her beloved mistress. Usugumo was sad because of the death of her pet, and one of the guests presented her with a figurine, which later became the prototype of a maneki-neko.
The fourth legend says that once poor old woman Imado lived in Tokyo.She could not even contain her cat and once drove her away. But the darling did not want to leave the mistress and appeared to her in a dream, advising her to mold a cat figurine made of clay and put it on the road. A figurine was bought by a passerby. After that, the old woman began to sculpt cat figurines for sale and fabulously got rich.
Be that as it may, the Japanese cat of happiness became the mascot only in the second half of the 19th century, and since then it has been decorating many houses, offices and shops.