Bringer of Good Luck/ Lucky Charm/ Lucky Items
N(Engimono)

Lucky charm photo meaning
tanuki

(racoon dog)
Tanuki figurines give us the wisdom to succeed.
There are 8 parts of a figurines and each has a special meaning
and leads us to success in different ways.

1 hat/ Protects from misfortunes.
2 big eyes/ To take care in all directions and see things in right way.
3 smile / To give anybody a pleasant smile.
4 sake bottle( tokuri)/ Toku means virtue.  To be a man of high virtue.
5 book (kayoi-cho)/ Symbol of credit.
6 big belly / Big belly in Japanese is futoppara.
Futoppara also means magnanimous. Symbol of
calm and brave determination.
7 big scrotum / Testicles are called gold balls and are a symbol of
wealth.
8 big tail / The end of the things should be great.

maneki-neko

(beckoning cat)




maneki-neko on the roof

They are holding paws and saying, "come here, come here."
It is said that a cat with it's left paw raised (female) calls in people
or customers, while a raised right paw (male) calls money or good luck.
In the Edo period a prosperity bringing cat actually existed
and it became the model for maneki-neko.

The story was in 1615.
A priest in a declining temple Goutoku-ji loved a cat very much.
Though he was very poor, he saved his meal and gave it to the cat.
He talked to the cat,
"If you would like to repay an obligation, please bring me
prosperity."
One summer day, the priest noticed that a great samurai was
coming to the temple gate.
The samurai said that on the way back from falconry he saw
a cat beckoning people passing by , so he visited the temple.
The priest served him tea and began preaching to him about Buddhism.
Suddenly it started to rain heavily.
When his preach finished, it also stopped raining.
By virtue of the beckoning cat the Samurai was not drenched
and so could listen to the preaching
The samurai was Naotaka Ii, the feudal lord of Hikone.
After that he became a patron of this temple.
Then people made a porcelain figure of this cat and
it became a good luck charm for prosperity.

Maneki-neko is often put at the entrance
to old type popular restaurants.


kaeru

(
frog)

Kaeru (frog) has the same pronounciation with kaeru (return).
Because of this, some people put tiny seramic kaeru in her/his wallet or purse
wishing returning of money or wishing for a safe return home

daruma

(dharma
)
.
Daruma is a priest of great renown who founded Zen about 1,500 years ago. The Japanese daruma doll is a charm to bring good fortune and a fortitude to accomplish your goals. Fill in one eye on a daruma doll when you make a goal or wish, and the other when your wish is fulfilled.



Most popular good luck snacks among people who take entrance exam.
Kit Kat Kit Kat sounds like "kitto katsuto","kittokatto-" in Hakata dialect in Kyushu.
Kit Kat as a lucky item became a hit through word of mouth among the students
preparing for an exam in Kyushu area. Then the company made it popular.
Koara no March Koalas don't fall down ('ochinai') from trees even when they are sleeping
so you won't fail the exam ('shiken ni ochinai').
"Hang in there!"
Curl Curl sounds like 'ukaru' (pass the exam)
Hi-Lemon 'Hi-lemon' sounds like 'haireru-mon.' (I can pass.)
Xylitol gum Xylitol gum sounds like 'kitchiri tooru.' (Surely pass)