", is a Japanese talisman
. The Maneki Neko, thought to attract loyal customers and bring prosperity
, is often seen in store fronts and cashier counters of Japanese restaurants and stores in the United States. The porcelain
Cat has its right arm raised with its paw positioned as in "Come here
The charm surrounding Maneki Iko began with a Japanese legend. In the legend, near the front of Temple Gotokuji in Setagaya, Japan, Samurai Lord Ii was beckoned by a cat. When he walked closer to Maneki Neko, a bolt of lightning hit the spot of ground where he had been. Grateful to Maneki Neko for saving his life, Lord Ii pledged to worship at the temple. The cat was actually the Buddhist deity of mercy and compassion, Kannon, in disguise. Today, Temple Gotokuji houses Maneki Iko and Kannon icons side by side.