The extremely cute Maneki Neko is omnipresent in Japan, as one of the most popular lucky charms. But I discovered during my travels that, somehow similar to Hello Kitty, Maneki Neko also has region specific versions… a discovery that triggered my collector interest…
Much to my delight, when I visited Matsumoto, on Nawate-dori, a street renowned for its frog statues, I found these extremely cute Maneki Neko wearing a green “frog” hat. In Japanese, the word kaeru means “frog” but it also means “return", so frogs are considered good to return things in your possession (money, for example) and since the lucky Maneki Neko attracts good luck in business… I guess this combination is meant to multiply the owner’s good luck and prosperity… Nevertheless, these are some of the cutest Maneki Neko that I ever saw!
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