Many people mistakenly call the Maneki Neko the Lucky Cat, but the name actually means Beckoning (which is what the cat is doing with its arm).
The legend of the Maneki Neko originates in Japan at the Gotokuji Temple, just outside Tokyo. The story goes that a feudal lord was travelling past the temple – which was in a terrible state of disrepair – when he noticed a cat. The cat beckoned him into the temple, just as a huge rain storm started. The monks in the temple made the lord and his retinue comfortable away from the storm. As thanks, the Lord designated this temple his families and it prospered.
Today within the grounds of the temple, there is a small area full of these models of the maneki neko.
This item is 8×10 inches.
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