A manekineko is a ceramic figurine in the shape of a cat that is placed in the entrance hall of restaurants and shops. Cats are believed to bring people and good fortune into their owners’ homes, so the Maneki Neko is said to raise one paw to invite people into the house. The Maneki-neko is also commonly referred to as a “”lucky cat”” in English, as it is used as a kind of talisman. The whimsical cat’s appearance has become one of Japan’s most popular symbols. The name “”beckoning cat”” comes from the fact that the cat welcomes you with its paws, since the literal translation is “”beckoning cat””. Most lucky cats are made of ceramic, but they can be made of a variety of materials, from wood and plastic to the more expensive ones made of jade and gold. Even in modern times, “”beckoning cats”” are still in vogue in Japan. It is not uncommon to see them displayed in shrines or as decorations. You may also find slow-moving mechanical paws greeting you in restaurants and pachinko parlors across the country. When trying to determine the exact origins of the maneki-neko, the only conclusion we can draw is that its birthplace is unknown. The general consensus is that it was found in the late Edo period. Due to the obscure history of the Maneki Neko, there are many legends that tell of its beginnings, but if you look closely at the various Maneki Nekos, you’ll find that they often carry and wear some of the things that they carry and wear. First of all, you will rarely see a maneki neko without an ornament around its neck. Collars, decorative bibs, and bells are the most common necklaces you’ll find on a maneki neko. Real pets in the Edo period wore a collar with a bell to confirm their whereabouts, just as they do now. As for bibs, it is speculated that they are related to the ones worn by Jizo Bodhisattva. Furthermore, beckoning cats often have koban, a gold coin used in the Edo period. A koban was worth one kobo (approximately $1,000), the former Japanese monetary unit. You may see a cat holding a gold coin with ten million ryo written on it.