Maneki Neko

Maneki Neko (inviting cat) statues are popular throughout Asia and around the world. The origin of this waving cat is the story of a traveller who was walking home at night and saw a cat waving at him in the dark.  

On approaching the cat, a bolt of lightning hit the ground where he had been standing, meaning that the cat had saved his life. Filled with gratitude, the traveller built a statue and temple in the cat's honour, starting a tradition of the lucky cat that has continued to the present day.
'Characters from Plays as Merchants and Customers' from the series 'Flourishing Business in Balladtown' - Utagawa Hiroshige, 1852.

Gotokuji Temple in Tokyo is said to be the temple built to honour maneki neko.

Yanaka Ginza, Tokyo.

Yanaka Ginza, Tokyo.