This cat-shaped statuette called manekineko holds a red fish called Sea Bream. It will sit perfectly at the entrance of your house of your shop to bring good luck.
The Imado shrine in Asakusa is believed to be the birthplace of the Manekineko statue. It is said that, a long time ago, an old lady had to part with her cat because she was too poor to take care of it. The next day of the separation, the cat appeared in her dream, asking her to make cat statuettes to re-comfort his soul from having been abandoned. And so the old lady did her best. The statuettes became so popular that she was able to get out of poverty with the sales. This manekineko will bring you good fortune.
In Japanese the word for Sea Bream is “tai”. It is also a sound found in the word “medetai” which means happy and auspicious. The Sea Bream therefore became a symbol for good luck in Japan.