I was given this Maneki Neko (or as the white folk call it, Lucky Cat) as a gift for the new company as a wish of good fortune.
For those of you who are not familiar with what the lucky cat symbolizes in Asian cultures, here is a little background.
It appears that the origins of Maneki Neko are not really known, but it did begin to appear in Japan during the later part of the Edo period (1603-1867). There are several legends of the lucky cat, but my favourite is The Temple Cat: This story goes that a wealthy feudal lord was taking shelter under a tree near Gotoku-ji temple (in Western Tokyo) during a thunderstorm. The lord saw the temple priest’s cat beckoning to him and followed; a moment later the tree was struck by lightning. The wealthy man became friends with the poor priest and the temple became prosperous. When the cat died, supposedly the first Maneki Neko was made in his honor.
The Maneki Neko that I received has his left paw raised. I was told by the giver that the left paw symbolizes good fortune, as opposed to money. I hope that my lucky cat will bring both.