BLOGWalking2021.09.26

Japan's Oldest Maneki-neko (beckoning cat) Legend

September 29 is "9, Kuru (coming)" and "29, Fuku (fortune)" in Japan.

It is called "Maneki-neko no Hi (beckoning cat day)" because of this play on words.

It was established by the Japan Maneki-neko Club on September 29, 1995.

Do you know that there is a temple in Kyoto that is said to have the oldest Maneki-neko (beckoning cat) legend in Japan?

It is "Danno Horin-ji Temple" at the east end of Sanjo-Ohashi Bridge.

It was established in 1611.

The god enshrined here is "Shuya-jin-son".

The original name is said to be "Basanba-enteishuya-jin".

It has been worshiped as a god to protect the night such as theft, fire and nightmares.

And it is a black cat that has been considered as a messenger of the "Shuya-jin-son" god.

It is rare for a shrine or temple to enshrine "Shuya-jin-son" god the deity, and this is the only place where a black cat is used as a messenger of the deity.

It is said that in the middle of the Edo period, Maneki-neko with the inscription of "Shuya-jin-son" god were made.

A black cat raising its right hand, Danno-horin-ji Temple is said to be the birthplace of "Black Maneki-neko".

The right hand of a Maneki-neko is said to bring in money, and the left hand of a Maneki-neko is said to bring in thousands of guests and business managers.

In those days, it was forbidden to make 'right Maneki-neko' imitating Dan-no Horin-ji Temple.

It is said that it was a Maneki-neko with such miraculous efficacy and deep faith.

The statue of the hidden Buddhist image is usually unveiled on the first Saturday of December at the "Shofuku-neko (Beckoning cats) / Shuya-jin (God who protects the night) Taisai Festival".

On the day, visitors are given a charm of Shuya-jin-son God and a reprinted statue of Maneki-neko from the late Edo period.

*The religious service for "Shofuku-neko / Shuya-jin Sai Festival"" in 2020 has not been decided yet.

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In the main hall in the precincts, there are many Maneki-neko (beckoning cats) which are said to have been dedicated from all over Japan.

At the kuri (temple office), there are also offerings related to the main deity, such as black Maneki-neko (beckoning cats), amulets and goshuin (temple seals).


Dan-no Horin-ji Temple
36 Horinjimonzen-cho, Kawabata-dori Sanjo-agaru, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City
Close to Sanjo Keihan Station on subway or Sanjo Station Keihan Railway


*Admission to the main hall is 300 yen (not available during an emergency declaration).
*Kuri (temple office) may be closed due to legal affairs. Please confirm in advance.

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