Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Come, come!

On Monday I drove to the airport to pick up my husband on his way home wards from Delhi, India.
To go into to the airport building from the parking I walk across the airport station. It was one of the busiest time in the morning.
Now when I got to the arrival lobby, I found the cutest display of ceramic collections all lined up , which I haven't expected to see them at the airport. 

It's "Maneki-neko" which literally means a beckoning cat. 

(Click for a larger image)

It is one of the popular good luck charms in Japan which every one knows. Ceramic cat-figures in various sizes with their right or left paws raised, sometimes both. Japanese people, when they want people to come here or come closer , just turn the palm downward overtimes. So these beckoning cats are also welcoming good fortune to come in. Usually you'll find one or two welcoming cat-figures at ordinary home but you'll find more at the entrance of most local shops and restaurants of which owners wish more profits to be brought about.
There are beckoning cats figures with their right paws raised and some with left raised and some both! One with a right paw is welcoming money, one with a left paw is welcoming people and as you guess one with both paws raised is wishing both to come in. Isn't this adorable? This is originally based on the ancient story that once a cat scrubbing his face with a paw brought about happiness in his owner's house and as always there are some more different legends as well.
Do you have any good charms in your culture to welcome people or good fortune?

Well, while I was busy taking pictures of them, it didn't take long before my husband showed up at the gate! "Welcome home!"


Anya said...

all cats on your blog
We love that hahaha.....
Love these cats
thanks for the history
maybe did you buy one ;)

Have a wonderful day


Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

Oh yes, we do have them here too, most Japanese restaurant has at least one near the entrance.cute!
Must be nice to have your hubby home!

The Chair Speaks said...

Wah! What a display with so many Maneki-neko. Cute!

Au and Target said...

I love these! We have two. A big one that the cats have to touch to get the paw waving, and a little battery powered one that waves all by itself. My husband is crazy about these cats.

It's good to be back; and nice to catch up!

Janine said...

Hi Mekan, wunderful those cats, japan has maney legends I think? I love that the culture from other lands, so we learned some more of this, I knew the images but didn't know what they mean, thank you for sharing this. and nice to read that you husband is back home :)) best wishes from me, janine

Dionne said...

Hooray he's home! And wow, all those cats! I love to hear how different animals have different treatment in other countries.

Maki said...

Aw "maneki neko" :) I love it - so cute. All these little things make me proud to be Nihon-jin. Welcome home to your hubs - okaerinasa~~~i!

Totoro said...

I love manekineko!I have a fat cat here in my house but he is not beckoning anything, too fat. But in Japan I saw a lot of these cats also in temples and Jinja.
I have to buy one. See you.

photojoy said...

Hi there! Thanks for your each comment. I'm glad that you like manekineko. Ellen, how fun that you owe a battery powered one. Your babies must love them! Hope they won't break it. And I'm quite sure your guys' family members that are cats bring about lots of happiness.
Cheers to them!