While avoiding the rain, he noticed a cat raising its legs as if waving him into the temple. Curious, he approached the cat. As soon as he left, a bolt of lightning struck the tree he stood. The cat Tama saved him from death.
Grateful to the cat, the lord became the patron of the temple. He upgraded to a more spacious temple and renamed it Gotokuji temple in 1697. When Tama died, the lord made a statue of Maneki Neko in commemoration. The lucky cat symbol was born from that.
Japanese society also circulates an ordinary life story: There was a poor shop owner who saw the cat was going to starve to death and mercifully brought back to raise. As a gratitude, the cat sat in front of the store every day, waving to customers to buy goods. Soon, the store was thriving. Since then, the hand-waving porcelain cat statues have been created and have become a lucky symbol of small traders.
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