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Maneki Neko -- The Legend
|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 .
A story told at the Gotoku-ji Temple states that there was one samurai, Lord Ii himself, who was beckoned by the cat. As he walked forward to where the cat was, a bolt of lightning hit the ground where he had been. Thankful that the cat had thus saved his life, he became a patron of this temple. This story states that the cat was in fact Kannon, the deity of compassion, in disguise, and nowadays the temple enshrines the maneki neko alongside Kannon, who is termed shofuku (Prosperity beckoning) Kannon.
The Gotoku-ji Temple now houses dozens of statues of this Cat, and owners of lost or sick cats stick up prayer boards with the image of the Beckoning Cat in this temple.
In business the Maneki Neko is said to bring success. This is because her raised paw beckons in customers. It also welcomes in personal happiness and harmony.
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