We would all need a little luck from time to time. From the Shinto talisman, to the chocolate symbol of luck, these Japanese lucky charms will have you going from bad luck to good fortune in no time and as the name suggests, should bring you good luck.
"Maneki" means to invite or wave, and "neko" means cat. The maneki neko is a Japanese cat statuette that you may have seen in Asian markets as a nice little present. This white cat statue is very cute. This beckoning cat is made of porcelain, plastic or metal and is mostly found at the entrance of stores. It can be found in different colors, like gold, red, white or black, and it can also be found in different postures. Each color and pose has a different meaning. For example, it is said that gold is a symbol of prosperity and wealth and that black keeps evil spirits away and promises security.
Maneki neko, in Japanese culture, lifts its paw. The right paw invites money and business, and the left attracts customers and people. So one or the other raised paw can be said to be good for business, but the left paw is traditionally used for nighttime entertainment such as geisha houses and restaurants. Next time you see a maneki neko, watch which paw is up! This feline statuette can be a very good gift idea. These statuettes will be perfect for your superstitious friend or for you even if you want to attract customers or for this lucky charm to bring you money.
Omamori literally means "something that will protect you". They are small lucky charms. You can get them at almost all Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Tokyo. Anyone can buy these japanese omamori item, regardless of their religion. It is a gift made to the temple or to the sanctuary. You can purchase these lucky pendants for personal use. However, many people buy them to give to family or friends. It is very common if a person is pregnant or has a difficult exam to pass, for example.
The most common amulets are wrapped in a bag that serves as a blanket and is usually made of silk. The beautiful designs often feature the deity or a sacred figure of the temple or sanctuary. It is not uncommon for the name of the temple or shrine to be sewn onto the cover. Inside these bags there is sometimes a piece of paper or wood with a prayer or an invocation. The most common types have a strap, which you can attach to your bag.
Daruma dolls are mostly reddish in color, with the face of a man with thick eyebrows and a mustache, which is also considered a lucky charm in Japan. They are made of paper or ceramic and are also believed to bring luck, love, courage and power.
These statues are available in five important colors and have multiple meanings. For example, a red japanese daruma doll brings good luck and fortune, a white doll promotes love and harmony, and a golden doll brings wealth.
If you're not into luck but want to look like a traditional Japanese instead, our Japanese clothing store is here to help!