The KIN*MIA Lucky Neko T-Shirt features our Maneki-Neko logo. The Maneki-Neko (招き猫), or Beckoning Cat, is a symbol of good luck in Japanese culture.
The cat (neko) is beckoning with an upright paw. The raised right paw symbolizes good luck and wealth. As tradition goes, the higher the paw, the greater the luck.
Traditionally, Maneki-Neko come in variations of white, black, gold, green, and red. White brings happiness to the owner, and purity and positive energy. Black is meant to lure away evil spirits, while Gold symbolizes wealth. Green is said to bring about both academic success and good health; while red ushers success in relationships, both new and old.
The Maneki-Neko often wears a collar or bib, which was customary attire for cats during the Edo Period in Japan. The bib in particular is a nod to Buddhist divinity Jizo Bosatsu – the protector of the sick.
Finally, the Maneki-Neko is shown here holding a Koban (小判), an oval-shaped gold coin from Edo period feudal Japan worth one ryo (an early Japanese monetary unit). There is a famous Japanese idiom, Neko ni Koban,(猫に小判) literally meaning gold coins for cats, which is the equivalent of “casting pearls before swine.” The Maneki-Neko holding the Koban represents wealth and good fortune, with the Koban here welcoming long life and prosperity.