We carry a small but finely curated selection of Japanese antique/vintage beckoning Lucky Cats. “Beckoning Cats” (Maneki Neko) are becoming harder and harder to find in Japan, since the Japanese collect them as passionately as we do. A Lucky Cat at home is believed to beckon in good luck and good fortune, always two good things to have in one’s home! There are many stories about why beckoning cats (cats with their paws up) are lucky, but this is the best one we’ve come across:
THE STORY OF THE BECKONING CAT
The folk tale that accompanies the cat goes something like this: There was once an old and lonely man who owned a small shop. The man had no family and consequently relied solely on his shop for income. At the time business was very bad and the old man was running out of food and had no money to buy more. The day came that he cooked his last bowl of rice. Just as he sat to eat his last meal a small and hungry kitten came to him and rubbed against his leg mewing and purring pleadingly. After a time the old man thought that while he had nothing left to live for, the cat was still young and had a full life ahead of it, and so he gave the last of his food to the little cat. The next day the old man awoke and as he made preparations to die there came a steady stream of customers through his doors. At the end of a very busy day, the old man, wondering at this turn of events, searched for the cause and found the small cat sitting upright by his front door, beckoning to all who passed by.
If you walk into any store anywhere in Japan the chances are excellent that you will see somewhere this traditional Beckoning Cat. Actually, no store worth its salt would ever consider doing business without one of these lucky mascots, since they are believed to call in cash and customers. People also keep them in their homes to beckon in plain old generic good luck!