Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Maneki Neko

Have many of you traveled through Asia, or simply been to a Traditional Chinese or Japanese restaurant? If your answer is yes, then I’m sure you have seen a small cat statue within one of these businesses’. 

The Maneki Neko, which translates to beckoning cat, is a Chinese symbol for lucky, or good fortune.  The cat has either of its paws raised: if the right paw, it is believed to be waving to the owner for good fortune, and if the left, to attract more customers to the business.  Although the most traditional Maneki neko color is calico, white with black/orange markings, and is considered to be the bearer of the greatest luck, there are many other color variations.  The other colors of the cat, which are believed to hold certain special powers, are solid white, green, black, red, or gold.  
Solid white is believed to bring happiness and positivity.  

Solid green is believed to maintain good health, and solid black is known to deter bad karma and evil spirits.  

Solid red brings pureness in loving relationships, and solid gold is known to yield high wealth. 

I have Thai family members, and although not a traditional symbol in the Thai culture it has been adopted in Thailand and elsewhere throughout Asia as a symbol of good luck.  

I personally own a small, solid blue Maneki neko, and as a person who has lived in coastal and tropical areas my whole life, I believe it keeps me safe when on the ocean. 


  1. I do not think I've ever been to an asian restaurant that does not have one of these cat statues. I've never given it a second thought to be more than just a cute cat statue, something like the popular hello kitty. Next time I order from my local Chinese food restaurant I will pay more attention to the color and meaning of the cat statue.

    1. Thanks for your comment! I never took much consideration into them until I moved to Hawaii years ago. They are literally in every store/shop/restaurant out there. Hawaii does have a very strong asian influence, while residing there (10yrs) I learned a lot about asian and Hawaiian beliefs, traditions, and culture... And of course the amazing food!