Friday, June 15, 2007

beckoning cat (招き猫)..

came across the Maneki Neko (招き猫,まねきねこ) while surfing for "good luck". has always find it adorable, rather for its charm. it is believed to bring luck to its owner. the raised paw has its intended meaning that goes: raised right paw attracts wealth and luck, raised left paw attracts customers. n sometimes raising both paws. reading up the history of maneki-neko, i find all kinds of Stories.
here is one of the most common one:


This story began during the Edo period (江戸時代) in Japan - the time when this country was ruled by the Bakufu (幕府,ばくふ) or Shōgun (将軍,しょうぐん).

At this time, the temple was struggling to survive. One day the cat squatted by the roadside and, when half a dozen Samurai appeared on horses, it looked up at them and raised one of its paws to its ear, as if it were beckoning to them. The noble cavaliers pulled up and, as the cat continued to beckon, they followed it into the temple.

By this time a violent thunderstorm had erupted, a moment later the tree was struck by lightning. The samurai counted their good luck as the old priest served them tea.

The leader of this group was Lord Li Naotake from Hikone district (彦根市). He regularly visited the old priest and decided to endorse this temple with funding to assure its survival, and so it continues today. Visitors who pass under the temple’s gateways, walk through its broad avenues of towering trees and enjoy the beautifully laid-out gardens. Near the cemetery of the Li family, the little shrine of the beckoning cat.

Because the Beckoning Cat had lured a wealthy patron to the poor temple, images of this cat soon became talismanic emblems and were particularly favored by shopkeepers.

here is the Location if you are interested (because i am .. :p):

If you travel west from Tokyo via the Odakyū rail (小田急電鉄) into Setagaya-ku (世田谷区), you can find the temple, Gotoku-ji (豪徳寺). This Buddhist temple is located near the station of the same name, a short walk away. And walking behind the main hall of the temple you can find what looks like a memorial, a grave, with many offerings about it - and prayer notes offered for good fortune. The gravestone stand many ceramic cats, adorning the site. This is the resting place of the maneki-neko : the beckoning cat.

some of the Influence maneki-neko has for the culture:

- Hello Kitty, a popular Japanese merchandising character, may arise from a flawed translation.
- Meowth, a Pokémon character, is always seeks money for its owners.

No comments :

Post a Comment