Maneki-Neko, the Japanese cat that brings good luck

03 Aug 2016 in Have Fun

Maneki-Neko is one of the symbols of Japan. You have certainly seen it before in the doorway or the window of a Japanese restaurant or an Asian shop, greeting you by lifting its paw! Discover the extraordinary legend behind it.


Maneki-Neko is one of the symbols of Japan. You have certainly seen it before in the doorway or the window of a Japanese restaurant or an Asian shop, greeting you with its left paw raised – some mechanical cats even wave at you. While this friendly animal may seem contemporary, its history goes all the way back to the end of the Edo period.

Maneki Neko symbol

Legends hold that the Gotokuji temple in the western neighborhoods of Tokyo was once a shabby, humble hut in which a monk lived with his cat. Despite his poverty, the man of faith shared his home and meals with his cat that he cared for as if it were his own child. Weary of his poor conditions, the man one day asked his cat “If you are grateful to me, bring some fortune to the temple.

Buy Maneki Neko in shop

Several months went by until one summer afternoon, when the monk heard a sound at his door. He stepped out, and to his surprise, he saw six samurai warriors heading towards him.

The monk asked them the reason for their visit, and they replied that as they were passing by the temple, they spotted the cat lying on the road and that it began waving at them.

Maneki Neko legend

The six warriors were intrigued by this situation and decided to stop and request a place to rest. The monk provided hospitality and enjoined them to rest. Curiously, shortly after their arrival, the sky darkened, heavy rains began to fall, and thunder struck.

While the samurai waited for the end of the rain and thunderstorm, the monk prayed. Enchanted by these prayers which they perceived as a “sign”, they converted to Buddhism and decided to thank the monk by giving him huge rice fields and cultivated lands.

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To commemorate this event, a statue of the cat was made so that visitors could honor him and pray for him. During your stay at HOSHINOYA Tokyo, plan on a visit to the cat temple, where you will enjoy a moment of peace and serenity in an enchanting setting that few tourists experience.

Participate in the ritual, purchase a statue, which you can set it in the sanctuary or pack in your bags as a souvenir you can place in the doorway of your home, where it will greet you and your guests.


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