Gypsy's Travels

Monday, March 23, 2009

Odd Shot Monday - "Curiosity and the Cats"

Maneki Neko -- The Legend

This is the legend of the Maneki Neko: In the 17th century, there was a rundown and poverty-stricken temple in Tokyo. The temple's priest was very poor, but he shared what little food he had with his pet cat, Tama.

One day, a wealthy and important man was caught in a storm while hunting and he took refuge under a big tree near the temple. While he waited for the storm to pass, the man noticed a cat beckoning him to come inside the temple gate. This was so startling that he left the shelter of the tree to have a closer look at this unusual cat. At that moment, the tree was struck by lighting.

As a result, the wealthy man became friends with the poor priest, and the temple became prosperous. The priest and his cat never went hungry again.

When Tama died he was buried in the Goutokuji Temple's cat cemetery with respect and love, and the Maneki Neko was made in honor of him. A Maneki Neko in your place of business, your home or on your website is said to bring in good luck and visitors.

Maneki Neko is Japanese for "beckoning cat." The message he's holding says "Please come in. You are welcome!" and he is beckoning you with his paw . (In Japan, the gesture of beckoning is pretty much the reverse of the gesture used in the West.)

The Japanese Bobtail is a breed of cat with an unusual 'bobbed' tail more closely resembling the tail of a rabbit than that of an ordinary feline. The short tail is a cat body type genetic mutation caused by the expression of a recessive gene. Thus, so long as both parents are bobtails, all kittens born to a litter will have bobtails as well.


  1. Clever shop owner .. good shot!

  2. But which one got killed - both? :-)

  3. Back to say I do like cats and I would have said that in a reply email but you didnt include it in your comment

  4. Lovely! They even have bandaged tails - beautiful.

  5. What's the deal with cats in the Pacific Rim area? Are they a sign of good luck or something?

  6. They look like theya re checking out the mini kitties.

  7. The question by anonymous about cats, prompted me to google the possible answer included in the post.
    "The Beckoning Cat" (Maneki Neko)is a popular symbol in Japan.
    The cats with ties on their tails appear to be the "Japanese Bobtail."

    Thanks for the question!

  8. I love reading legends. Thanks for sharing yours. It was a delight to read.


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