It started in 2013 as a simple way to document Hong Kong. A way to look at my home in a different light. See I’ve lived here for a long time, and I’ve got tons of tourist-y pics of the place: the harbor, the Peak, the Star Ferry, back streets, temples, escalators, blah, blah, blah. I wanted to do something different, so I thought I’d combine my small obsession with Maneki Neko (Japanese lucky cat) with my ‘home’ town.
But then the series branched out, and I found Maneki Neko’s all over the world: Hong Kong, Vietnam, Australia, Spain and the US. Anywhere people are looking for luck. Here are the results, from the most recent to the first.
An ongoing series, 2013-1017:
G’day from Maneki Neko #51 at Champion Ramen, Brisbane AUS. Note the subtle green & gold colouring of this lovely specimen.
We are up to Maneki Neko #50!!! Goes well with any decor, even mid century modern. Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong.
The sky inside. Maneki Neko #49 at your friendly neighbourhood bone setter, Quarry Bay, HK.
Vietnam takes its Buddhism & Taoism very seriously but nice to see room for a spiritual newcomer! Maneki Neko #48, Can Tho.
Tats & Cats! Maneki Nekos #46 & 47 at a Ho Chi Minh tattoo parlour, Vietnam.
Look who joined us for dinner! Maneki Neko #45 & pals Happy Buddha, God of Money & God of Land. Tra Vinh, Vietnam.
Maneki Neko #44 & the toys of war, Wan Chai HK. ‘Or the children play a game called soldiers.’
Let’s just ‘paws’ for the Maneki Neko (w/Anne Hathaway’s hand) in the movie Song One. Yeah!
In a Barcelona coffee shop, Maneki Neko #43 meets the Baby Jesus. Paz. Y Suerte.
Merry Maneki Christmas, y’all! Maneki Neko #42 at the fantastic Book People, Austin, Texas.
Kitsch & Kitty. Maneki Neko #41 on Hollywood Road, Central HK.
Set a course for adventure! Maneki Neko #40 courtesy of guest photographer, Carol. Discovery Bay, HK.
Maneki Neko #39 (video)
Why yes, I will exit through the gift shop. Maneki Neko #38, Washington DC’s Chinatown.
DC’s Chinatown is quite small these days, hardly more than a block. Outside this small shop was an historical sign stating that this is the site where Mary Surratt was arrested as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre (a couple of blocks away). Surratt was tried, convicted and hanged for her crime in 1865. Here’s a wider view:
Did you miss us? Maneki Neko #37 ad infinitum. Found at Ho Lee Fook restaurant, Soho, HK.
Streets of Man FranNeko. Maneki Neko #36 in the Super Shuttle, San Francisco.
A cuppa & a lucky cat. Maneki Neko #35 at Goody coffee shop, San Francisco.
Objects in gift shop are larger than they appear. Super size Maneki Neko #34. Ngong Ping Village, Lantau.
“Let’s Be Careful Out There.” Cat Street Blues with Maneki Neko #33, early morning Tin Hau.
Maneki Neko #32 offers you Wisdom & Peace & a foot massage. We need more of these places in the world. Chi Fu, Hong Kong.
Please give. Maneki Neko’s #29, 30 & 31. Jardine House, Central, HK.
The bamboo passes before my eyes. Maneki Neko #28 in a Mongkok car parts shop window, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
So the little ones say, “Do your Pryor bit, do your Pryor bit.” And the big one says, “Tell Cosby to have a Coke & a smile & shut TF up!” Maneki Neko #27, Kennedy Town, HK.
Have your cat & eat it too. Chocolate Maneki Neko #26. CitySuper, HK (imported from Japan of course).
Now that’s my kind of lai see packet. Year of the Maneki Neko #25. Pokfulam, HK. Kung Hei Fat Choy!
First Maneki Neko of 2014, after Christmas holiday. Good to be back in foodie paradise!!! Beef udon & Maneki Neko #24 for lunch. Central, HK.
I found nirvana in Bangkok. An INSTALLATION of Maneki Nekos (#23), Ramen shop, Siam Square. Isn’t it glorious?
Here’s the installation in context, behind the woman selling sticky rice bundles. Skytrain above, people all around.
ROAD TRIP Maneki Neko’s, taken during a weekend in Bangkok, December 2013. No protests here. Just Maneki Neko #22 with reflecting traffic. Bangkok Eye Clinic, Thailand.
They live side by side yet they’ve never met. Maneki Nekos #19 & 20 in the shopping arcade ’round the corner, Western.
If someone would just notice me. Dusty Maneki Neko #18, amongst the medicated oils & vitality pills. Jordan, HK.
This could just be an urban myth, but years ago I was told that these little boutiques are what Hong Kong men give their mistresses. So I’ve named this ‘The Other’ Maneki Neko #17. Happy Valley, HK.
Chairman Maoneki Neko #16, second hand shop, Hollywood Road, HK.
Mindfulness in about a minute.
After hours Maneki Neko #14, noodle shop, Central, HK.
Life is passing me by. Maneki Neko #13. Shop window, Queen’s Road W, Sheung Wan, HK.
Backseat drivers. Maneki Neko #12, Midlevels, HK.
Is that bondage gear? One-eyed Maneki Neko #11, WanChai, HK. Wonder what happens after closing?
Lit like Garbo. Maneki Neko #10, music centre, Tin Hau, HK. Signs say: Health * Long Life * Money * Fortune. All u need?
Jazz hands! Maneki Neko #9 in the dance supplies shop. Admiralty, HK.
Dashboard Maneki Neko lucky #8, with Buddhas & Shrek. Kowloon taxi, HK. Lady driver showed us pics of her daughter, sweet.
The cats with the midas touch? AKA Pussy Galore AKA gold Maneki Neko #7. Souvenir shop, Stanley Market, HK.
Maneki Neko #5, a real favorite. Surrounded by feng shui elements and dried goods. Sheung Wan, HK. Kung Hei Fat Choy!
Maneki Neko #4 with Barbies & street reflections. Singer store, Sheung Wan, HK.
Maneki Neko #3 with cheongsam, joss sticks & reflecting tree. Sheung Wan, HK.
Maneki Neko #2, dentist’s office, Central, HK. Protects you from cavities! Nail polish is a nice touch, don’t you think?
Maneki Neko #1, oddly enough, comes from Los Angeles, a small bead shop in Santa Monica. The girl at the register collects them. We got to talking and she said she had family living in Discovery Bay. Small world.
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© J.S. Deayton