This Japanese vintage Maneki -neko or good Luck cat is one of the most traditional and popular old ornaments of Japan. They are made in all different colors, materials, motif and sizes, often coming in sets. They can be found in every type retail outlet, restaurant, home and other places. the good luck beckoning cat or Maneki -neko represents good fortune and wealth. When it beckons with its right hand it represents wealth, while the left hand attracts people.
This Maneki -neko is finely hand carved from bamboo with a beautiful grain, and as one can see on the bottom. It is well carved with great detail into a very beautiul piecewith great stance and expression. Bamboo is a very hard wood it would have taken many hours by a very skilled wood carver to achieve these results. It is hand painted with a brown lacquer. It wears a necklace with the kanji 福' of happiness on the chest. It dates to the early 20th century. This neko is in excellent condition with no type of damage and has a beautiful patina. This is a very beautiful and a very rare carved bamboo Neko. stature.
Size: Height 6.1 inches or 15.6 cm, Width 4.9 inches or 12.5 cm, Depth 4.6 inches or 11.8 cm
猫 Neko in Japan
There are several legends and stories around cats in Japan. None of these are the Maneki-neko Japanese: 招き猫, literally beckoning cat a common Japanese figurine lucky charm, a talisman which is often believed to bring good luck to the owner. Our one set of these has been kidnapped by our daughter. These are all the style laying down and mostly sleeping.
Another Japanese legend of cats is the bakeneko 化け猫 when a cat lives to a certain age, it grows another tail and can stand up and speak in a human language.According to its name, it is a cat that has changed into a yōkai. It is often confused with the nekomata, another cat-like yōkai, and the distinction between the two can often be quite ambiguous. There are legends of bakeneko in various parts of Japan, but the tale of the Nabeshima Bakeneko Disturbance in Saga Prefecture is especially famous.
My favorite so far; there is also a small cat shrine neko jinja 猫神社 built in the middle of the Tashirojima island. In the past, the islanders raised silkworms for silk, and cats were kept in order to keep the mouse population down because mice are a natural predator of silkworms. Fixed-net fishing was popular on the island after the Edo Period and fishermen from other areas would come and stay on the island overnight. The cats would go to the inns where the fishermen were staying and beg for scraps. Over time, the fishermen developed a fondness for the cats and would observe the cats closely, interpreting their actions as predictions of the weather and fish patterns. One day, when the fishermen were collecting rocks to use with the fixed-nets, a stray rock fell and killed one of the cats. The fishermen, feeling sorry for the loss of the cat, buried it and enshrined it at this location on the island.
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