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Chugai Toen

Seto Red Yokosuwari Maneki Neko

Seto Red Yokosuwari Maneki Neko

Regular price $59.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $59.00 USD
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A captivating fusion of tradition and artistry, the Seto Red Yokosuwari Maneki Neko beckons good fortune into your life. Crafted by the skilled artisans at Chugai Toen, this Maneki Neko embodies a unique design element – its slender, almost hunchbacked posture, reminiscent of a real cat. This detail, a charming departure from the typical Maneki Neko pose, finds its roots in European plaster mold techniques used for Seto novelties, a testament to the art form's adaptability.

Further enriching its historical significance, the side-sitting posture echoes depictions seen in Utagawa Hiroshige's ukiyo-e prints, a fascinating link to the Edo period when most beckoning cats were displayed horizontally. Adding to its symbolic appeal, the raised right paw, as tradition dictates, is believed to attract wealth, while the left paw is said to invite good company. The significance of Red Maneki Neko cats lies in their reputed ability to enhance one's health and lifespan, while also ensuring good health. This belief is rooted in the historical context of a time when smallpox posed a serious threat, and the color red was believed to have protective qualities against the disease.

Purchase this stunning figurine and beckon wealth, good luck, and good health into your everyday life.

Detail

Size: W 3.5in x L 2.6in x H 4.7in / W 9cm x L 6.5cm x H 12cm
Material: Seto-ware Porcelain
Weight: 237g including box

Care & Use

  • Handwash only
  • Keep it dry
  • Avoid metal scrubs or abrasive detergents
  • Store safely
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Ceramics that invite happiness.

Seto ware, a testament to Japan's dedication to craftsmanship, boasts a long and fascinating history. Emerging in the 8th century, Seto ware initially focused on utilitarian objects like pottery used for everyday life. Over the centuries, techniques like glazing and firing evolved, leading to the creation of stunning pieces renowned for their beauty and durability. Seto, a city nestled in central Japan, now boasts a rich 1,300-year history as a renowned pottery center.

Renowned for its exquisite Seto ware, this tradition has embraced a charming icon: the beckoning cat, or maneki neko. The exact origin of maneki neko remains a delightful mystery, though some legends point to a high-ranking samurai who found shelter from a sudden downpour thanks to a beckoning cat at Gotokuji Temple in Tokyo. Seto's embrace of the maneki neko likely began in the early 20th century, with the city's historic kilns crafting these lucky cat figurines in their signature style. Today, Seto's maneki neko figurines, often adorned with elaborate bibs and crafted from high-quality porcelain, are a delightful embodiment of the city's artistic heritage and its embrace of good fortune.

Brand History

Emerging from the venerated ceramic heart of Seto, Chugai Toen, established in 1952, embodies the city's rich tradition stretching back over a millennium.  More than mere artisans, they are custodians of a legacy, meticulously preserving the art of Seto ware while infusing it with contemporary sensibilities. Every piece of Seto-ware they create, from adorable maneki-neko figurines to celestial zodiac guardians, represents a commitment to holistic creation.  

Chugai Toen oversees the entire process, from the initial design spark to the final meticulous crafting, ensuring each figurine embodies not just beauty, but a timeless connection to Seto's illustrious ceramic heritage. Intriguingly, their maneki-neko figurines are crafted using plaster molds, a technique pioneered in Seto during the Meiji era. This dedication to both tradition and innovation ensures their creations resonate with both history buffs and modern collectors, making Chugai Toen a captivating cornerstone of Japanese ceramic artistry.