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Lucky Cats

The Maneki-neko literally "Beckoning Cat"; also known as Welcoming Cat, Lucky Cat, Money Cat, or Fortune Cat is a common Japanese figurine (lucky charm, talisman), which is believed to bring good to the owner.

The figurine depicts a cat beckoning with an upright paw, and is usually displayed—many times at the entrance—in shops, restaurants, and other businesses.

Some of the sculptures are electric or battery-powered and have a slow-moving paw beckoning.

To some Westerners it may seem as if the maneki-neko is waving rather than beckoning.  This is due to the difference in gestures and body language recognized by some Westerners and the Japanese.

The Japanese beckoning gesture is made by holding up the hand, palm out, and repeatedly folding the fingers down and back up, thus the cat's appearance.