The Maneki Neko or Japanese lucky cat has withstood the test of time and possibly performance as it has been a part of ancient Japanese culture since the Edo period. There is a significance to which paw is raised in a beckoning gesture and a purchase or presentation of the particular style is based on the ultimate purpose of the owner.
It is believed that the lucky cat with the left paw raised is expressly for welcoming business and customers. This version will often be displayed in businesses and workplaces in order to beckon luck in these areas. The placement of the paw has evolved over time and it is thought that the higher the paw is raised, the more the luck as well. Often times, the other paw will hold a Japanese gold coin or koban and is symbolic of good fortune and riches.
At Mrs. Lin's Kitchen we have collected several versions of this Asian lucky cat from the miniscule, to prominent sized ones as well. Some of them are also made into coin banks which are common in Japan, much like the beloved "piggy bank" here. As a gift for you and to others, these lucky cats are full of good intentions and well wishes.