We've added a new product to our sales site http://www.goodsfromjapan.com - maneki neko or lucky cats. You can often see them in the entrances of shops and restaurants in Japan and they are popular in other Asian countries too. I was amused to read that maneki neko first become popular in the early Meiji Period (when Japan was opening up to the West) to replace rather more suggestive statuettes in brothels, as local people thought prudish foreigners would object! The cat's raised hand, clenched in a fist, is the traditional good luck/fertility/phallic motif.
Saturday, June 11, 2005
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