What's the origin of the Japanese Lucky Cat?
Maneki-Neko is the name in Japanese of the popular cat figurine, it is usually made of ceramic and it is believed to bring good luck to the owner and can be purchased in many souvenir or craft shops in Japan.
The figure depicts a calico cat (Japanese Bobtail) and is coloured in white, black, gold or red with one paw raised, inviting money to come in.
You can find the Maneki-Neko not only at Japanese homes but also at the entrance of restaurants, shops and businesses.
It is certain that the Welcoming Lucky Cat's origin comes from the the Edo period, becoming very popular at that time.
There are many folk tales about its origin like "The Stray Cat and the Shop", "The Nobleman Warning Cat" and "The Temple Cat".
You can find out more about it here.