The maneki neko (beckoning cat) is a kind of lucky charm that has a long history in Japan. In recent years, these adorable figurines have also become popular abroad, even though people there may not always know the significance of the position of the cats’ paws. Most beckoning cats wave with their right paw, but in this article, we’ll be discussing the ones that have both of their paws up and the meaning behind it. We’ll also recommend three double-paw maneki neko figurines that not only bring good luck, but are also of exceptionally high quality and boast exquisite designs that can brighten any house. So, please keep on reading to find the double-paw maneki neko doll that best suits your interior design needs.
How Did Maneki Neko Dolls Become Lucky Charms?
There are many theories as to the origin of the maneki neko. One says that cats were important animals in Japan because they hunted rats and other vermin that posed a threat to crops stored in "kura" granaries. Since the Azuchi–Momoyama Period (1573 – 1603), these granaries were most likely constructed with the use of a mortar made from slaked lime and water, which kept the storehouses waterproof. However, these structures weren’t as durable as stone warehouses, allowing rats to chew their way inside them. Vermin could also spoil stored crops by getting into the granaries through air vents.
Rats used to be such a threat to crops that during the Yayoi Period (10th century BC – mid-3rd century AD), before the appearance of the kura, grain storehouses had to have square “rat guards” (nezumi-gaeshi) on their pillars, as seen in the picture above.
Households with cats often thrived as they had something to deal with the vermin and protect their crops. However, Japan’s cat population has always been low, so very few households had one. Eventually, some houses and stores started putting up pictures of cats in place of the real thing, and that’s supposedly how maneki neko were born.
What Is the Meaning Behind Maneki Neko Dolls with Two Paws Up?
Most maneki neko have their right paw raised up. However, some wave with their left paw or have both of them up, with the latter being the rarest kind. If the maneki neko has its right paw up, it means it’s attracting money, while a left paw attracts people. Therefore, a double-paw maneki neko attracts wealth and customers at the same time.
You’ll need both to succeed in business, and the double-paw maneki neko is said to help you do just that.
Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Double-Paw Maneki Neko
As mentioned before, the double-paw maneki neko attracts both money and people, making it a very potent lucky charm. However, holding both of your hands up is also the so-called “banzai” gesture in Japan, which is done when people celebrate something. It is the action of throwing their arms up and shouting “banzai!” (“hurrah!” or “cheers!”). Holding your hands up is also the universal sign of surrendering, so some people might get the wrong idea when presented with a double-paw maneki neko.
The figurines can definitely bring you good luck, but you should think it over before gifting one to someone else.
Recommended Double-Paw Maneki Neko Dolls
We’ve carefully selected three double-paw maneki neko that would be a welcomed addition to any home. Each one is made using traditional techniques by experienced craftspeople, and is an undeniable work of art that also goes great with modern interior design. There are even double-paw maneki neko figurines that don’t look like they are surrendering, so maybe consider those if that sort of thing bothers you or the actual recipient of the doll.
Recommended Double-Paw Maneki Neko #1
Colorful Kutani Ware Maneki Neko
Hokusando’s Kutani Ware Maneki Neko #4 (Black, Mori-Style, Double-Paw)
This double-paw maneki neko figurine is an example of Kutani ware, a traditional craft of Ishikawa Prefecture. It’s decorated using the “mori” technique, the name of which comes from the verb “moru” meaning “to heap on” or “to stack on” and involves layering designs by squeezing out paint directly onto the figure, similarly to piping whipped cream. With its vivid, beautiful colors, this figurine encapsulates the magic of Kutani ware.
The south part of modern-day Ishikawa Prefecture was once the Kaga Domain, known as the “fief of one million koku.” Koku is an old unit of measuring rice production, so the name was supposed to convey the image of Kaga being a place of fertile rice fields. The entire area has a rich history and culture, which also includes Kutani ware. This Kutani-style maneki neko is said to be especially good at attracting money, and figures like it have been especially praised by merchants. This lucky charm from a land of abundance also works great as interior decoration.
Recommended Double-Paw Maneki Neko #2
Cute Maneki Neko That Brings Peace of Mind
Yakushigama’s “Vivid Harmony” Maneki Neko with Three Rascals
This maneki neko features two raised paws and a beaming, smiling face. It’s also surrounded by three adorable kittens. Just one look at these figurines will bring you peace of mind, making them perfect for those people looking to relax more.
The figurines were made in Seto in Aichi Prefecture, a city with a history of pottery stretching back over 1,000 years. Each of these maneki neko is handmade one by one by experienced artisans, and the entire thing is available for a very reasonable price. The sincerity in these figurines is palpable, so whoever owns them will undoubtedly treasure them for years.
Recommended Double-Paw Maneki Neko #3
Cute Begging Maneki Neko for Those Starting a New Business
Kakinuma Dolls' “Wishing to the Star” Maneki Neko (Crepe Multicolor)
These one-of-a-kind maneki neko figurines are examples of traditional “Edo Kimekomi doll” techniques where fine grooves are cut into a wooden base, to which cloth material is then attached. These maneki neko were actually chosen for The Wonder 500 campaign, part of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s Cool Japan initiative meant to introduce Japan’s lesser-known but outstanding regional products to the world. They are highly decorative and would make fine additions to any house.
With their paws held to their chest and their big, adorable eyes, it’s hard not to fall head over heels for these cats. And because their paws are kept low, they don’t look like they are surrendering or anything like that, making them safe and thoughtful gifts.
Try Double-Paw Maneki Neko for Ultimate Luck
We hope you enjoyed our selection of maneki neko with both of their paws up. Each one is made using traditional techniques by experienced craftspeople while also working as great modern interior decoration.
When placed in a house, these figures not only attract money and customers, they also put a smile on their owner’s face. So, choose the maneki neko that best suits you and beckon all the good fortune you can handle!
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*These products may not be able to be shipped to certain countries. Please see the retailer's website for more information.
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.