And he came with the following text, printed out from the seller's eBay site:
Japanese Phone Strap - Maneki Neko Cat Keitai Sutorappu
Small ceramic mobile phone strap in the form of Japan's famous beckoning luck cat, Maneki Neko. Cellular phones are called keitai (lit. "mobile") in Japan where they are as common a personal accessory as wallets and purses. Many Japanese choose to dress up their keitai with one or more attractive and interesting phone straps (keitai sutorappu). Phone straps come in an astounding array of styles targeting nearly every hobby, interest and collectables theme. Young Japanese in particular seem to enjoy adding multiple straps to their tiny cell phones which, over time, may become dwarfed by the attached collection of colorful and interesting keitai sutorappu. Please click here to see more Japanese phone straps!
About the Listed Item
This particular brand new mobile phone strap features a tiny ceramic Maneki Neko figure with attached bell (nice tinkle sound!). This classic-style Maneki Neko wears her breed's characteristic collar and beckons with her upraised left paw. Japanese writing on the kitty's tummy reads shiawase koikoi yattekoi which translates as "happiness come, come". The figure includes a braided red cord which is used to secure it to any mobile phone with a small strap hole. The Japanese maker cautions on the package that as this is a genuine ceramic Maneki Neko figure, extra care should therefore be taken to avoid damaging it when it is used with a mobile phone.
Note: This particular Maneki Neko figure is beckoning with its left paw which is normally interpreted as inviting people and customers into the life of its owner, while Maneki Neko which beckon with their right paw are thought to be attracting money and wealth. Please click here to see a similar mobile phone strap figure beckoning with its right paw.
Height (figure only): 0.9 inches (2.2 centimeters)
Length of cord (approximate): 3.1 inches (8.0 centimeters)
Weight (figure, strap and bell): 0.2 ounces (5 grams)
Maneki Neko - Japan's Beckoning Luck Cat
Japanese legend holds that long ago an emperor was traveling on horseback when he spotted a small cat waving at him. After the emperor dismounted from his horse to get a closer look the horse was struck by lightning and killed. Subsequently, the emperor pronounced that cats in general should be respected as sacred animals and thus was born the legend of the beckoning Maneki Neko. This is just one of several popular tales regarding the origin of Japan's most famous cat.
Today in Japan you are likely to spot a Maneki Neko figure waving at you from within just about every Japanese place of business. The legendary kitty has been transformed from an emperor saving Samaritan to a bringer of money and good fortune to all Japanese. There are basically three types of Maneki Neko: The first and oldest type is waving a single paw in an effort to attract people to it (just like the emperor's savior). Another newer version (yet still likely centuries old) is a Maneki Neko waving one paw while holding an old fashioned Japanese coin in the other paw. This second type is thought to bring wealth to its owner. The final type of Maneki Neko is a modern version which waves both paws. Still further variations exist with additional meaning even ascribed to such things as the color and pattern of the coat. Maneki Neko are usually ceramic and are often used as piggy banks. Piggy bank Maneki Neko will have a slot in their back to receive coins and a hole in the bottom for their removal. Many modern Maneki Neko are purely decorative (no piggy bank) and may be made of papier-mache or cloth in addition to the traditional ceramic styles. To learn more, please visit our About Japan page and look for the feature titled Maneki Neko Corner. This special section of our website is dedicated exclusively to all things Maneki Neko and includes additional information as well as interesting photos of authentic Maneki Neko in use in Japan today.
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