The Beckoning Cat (maneki-neko)
Often times, when you are going into a shop, you will see a cat with a paw raised up beckoning you into their store.
The maneki-neko is usually displayed in, and often at the entrance of shops, restaurants, pachinko parlors, laundromats, dry cleaners, salons, and other businesses.
The maneki-neko first appeared during the later part of the Edo period in Japan, and the earliest records of the beckoning cat appear in the a document entitled “a chronology of Edo” entry dated 1852.
You can also see here an early example of the maneki-neko in Utagawa Hiroshige’s ukiyo-e “Joruri-machi Hanka no zu,”, which was also in painted 1852.
By the time 1902 rolled around there were advertisement for maneki-neko indicates that by the turn of the century they were popular.
Japan is full of these delightful cultural nuggets which tends to makes one smile as we continue on our journey in Land Of The Rising Son.