(The following is an opinion piece written by Apple Qu)
With over 400 years in its development, the “good luck cat” or “Maneki-neko” in Japanese has evolved into an almost omnipotent being with a wide variety of look, expression, colours, and even sizes! Today, some of the more popular variety includes: festive-neko, four-seasons-neko, eclipse-neko, lucky-neko, hardworking-neko, etc.
Traditional Japanese Maneki-neko comes in both the male and female variety. The male-neko with its right paw raised signifies good luck and fortune (commonly used for good fortune and in houses). The female-neko with its left-paw raised signifies the attraction of crowds/clients (commonly found in business establishments and restaurants). It is generally believed that crowd brings money for the business. This is why when people say Maneki-neko; they usually are referring to the female variety.
Moreover, the different paw positions also carries many different meanings as well. For example, with its paw lower nearer to the face, it represents the attraction of happiness from nearby, whilst when the paws are high above the head, it signifies the attraction of happiness from far away.
Even the colours of Maneki-neko carry different attributes:
- Tri-colour Neko: Attracts Happiness
- White Neko: Attracts Happiness
- Gold Neko: Good Fortune and Luck
- Black Neko: Banish Misfortune
- Red Neko: Protects against Illness and Misfortune
- Pink Neko: Attracts good relationships
- Yellow Neko: Attracts good friendship
- Green Neko: Good grade in studies
- Purple Neko: Beauty and Health
- Blue Neko: Good career/business prospects
Some believed that a Maneki-neko has a lifespan of 2 years. However, the general consensus is that this is just another business tactic, to sell more neko-themed merchandise! No wonder the Maneki-neko by itself has become a goldmine for businessmen all over the world!
Read enough? Go and look for your unique Neko design now!