Maneki Neko  












I wish you good luck today and a happy Friday the 13th!  Today is supposed to be bad luck so I send you this Maneki Neko in hopes that it bring you good luck.

The Maneki Neko or "Beckoning Cat" is a symbol of good luck in Japan.  The waving cat is everywhere in Japan, but did you know one of its origins is samurai related?  Here is one famous story about the samurai origin of the Maneki Neko.

In 1615 during the Edo period there was a temple in Tokyo called Gotokuji that had fallen on hard times.  The priest there loved cats and, although poor, he saved his meals to feed this stray cat.  As the cat ate, he would say, “Please bring me good luck and prosperity.”  The story goes that the famous samurai Naotaka Ii who was the feudal lord of Hikone happened to be walking by the temple on his way home from falconry one afternoon.  As he looked over at the temple gates, he noticed that the stray cat seemed to be beckoning him to come in.  Naotaka became curious and entered the temple just as a severe thunderstorm passed over soaking the entire area with heavy rain.  The famous samurai from Hikone spent the rest of the afternoon drinking tea and listening to the priest's sermon on Sanzeinga no ho (三世因果) or the reasoning for the past, present and future.  Grateful to the cat for keeping him dry Naotaka Ii donated a large sum of money to re-build the temple and designated it the official temple of his clan.

I wish you the best of luck today.