Product Focus – The Lucky Cat
Well, it’s New Years. Hurrah. So, while some of us are still working on a hangover and trying to cope with what day of the week it is and others can barely walk from post too-enthusiastic-gym soreness … we think there’s one thing that we can all agree on.
Going into 2019, we could all take a little sprinkle (read: large helping) of good fortune. Which is where this guy comes in … our official talisman of a whoop-assing new year.
Sure, pretty much everyone will be familiar with the Lucky Cat – either from your favourite Chinese restaurant / Asian shop or fascination with the Japanese culture – but there’s a whole heap of mystery and legend that made this little fella the icon across cultures he is today.
Fancy a dig through it? Course you do …
The Fortune Cat – or ‘Maneki Neko’ (Beckoning Cat) – first popped up during the Edo period in Japan. The legend goes that a wealthy man once took shelter under a tree beside a temple during an epic rain and thunder storm. As the weather worsened, he noticed a cat that seemed to be beckoning him, so he followed it inside the temple. There, he watched as lightening hit the tree he’d just been huddled under … the cat had saved his life. So grateful, the man become a generous benefactor to the temple, bringing it great wealth and fortune. When he died, a statue of the cat was built in his honour, the image from then on associate with the generosity bestowed upon the temple that sheltered him in the storm.
They say whichever hand is ‘beckoning’ also brings a different meaning to its owner. If it’s the left, it’s customers and if it’s the right, it’s good fortune and money. Sometimes it’s both … because hell if a little of everything wouldn’t do just nicely … which is why you might sometimes see Fortune Cats with both arms in the air. (Wheyoh).
A true Maneki Neko is always dressed super sharp in a highly adorned bib, collar and bell – which was actually pretty common attire for well-to-do felines in the Edo-era Japan. They also carry a Koban, worth one ryo – a coin of the period that was actually considered to be a hella lot of money. The colour also dictates a lot of symbolism but for us we stock our cats in Silver (White), which brings happiness, purity and positive things to come and Gold, which represents wealth and prosperity.
So, if resolutions aren’t quite for you but you want to ride the crest of the January-optimism right through to owning the year and all your hopes and dreams for it, may we recommend a mascot. A little something to beckon you out of the thunderstorms, towards safe shelter and good fortune.
Get yourself a Maneki Neko. Make New Year your bitch.