Saturday, March 12, 2011


In Japan it is not unusual wherever you go to be met by a welcome or beckoning cat. This first cat raises his left paw beckoning in good fortune and long life. He is actually a large piggy bank and fortune comes to him in small change from pockets or from the bottom of the washing machine.

The printed panel is hoping to be made into a table runner.
The upper cat raises his right paw to beckon good fortune and the lower cat, holding a coin is beckoning in wealth. It is not unusual to see the cat with the coin in stores greeting customers.

Cats are not unlike fabric, tending to multiply in corners.
At the top of my step tansu sits a small part of a collection of cats. Oh yes, there are more. For you see, someone coming by and seeing them thinks, "Oh she collects cats". Then, before you know it, suddenly every visitor brings a cat. Well, I do collect owls but that is another story. I think the cats collect themselves.

The one cat I DID collect is not beckoning money or good fortune. He sat many years in my entryway greeting friends and returning family.
I loved his sweet gentle expression and was glad to see him on every return. The last three years he has sat on the shelf beside my sleeping mat wishing me a good rest or a good morning. I'm sure he did not welcome the earthquake when it came and tossed him down the stairs and I do not welcome the thought of tossing these broken pieces into the trash. How sad to get so attached to objects when the world is filled with people who have nothing. Still.....

And here is another welcoming object. The nanohana or rape flowers are one of the harbingers of spring. Their sunny smiles called out to me as I passed them on the way to Church this morning. They, too, will fade but we can enjoy them and look forward to the spring which they so boldly beckon.


  1. Cute cats you have there. It's a pity that one must say good bye to you instead of welcoming. And the table runner is juuust nice. The blue (is that indigo?) is Japanese typical colors, is it?

  2. I'm so sorry your poor cat is broken but you are right that there are broken people out there. That doesn't mean you can't mourn this small thing just as you mourn the losses others have suffered. Sometimes it's the small things we focus on when the big things are so enormous that we are overwhelmed by them. blessings, marlene

  3. Those small things hold a great deal of meaning but I think you don't realize it until they're no longer there. I still have a broken snow globe that depicts the NYC skyline (with the twin towers) I purchased on the last trip home just months before 9/11. Though it's broken and probably beyond repair I can't bring myself to throw it away. It represents too much to me.

  4. I was happy to read of the relevance of these little icons. I am not surprised people give so many of them to you. They want to give you good luck. That is a nice sentiment.

  5. Years ago my dad worked for Westons - a large Canadian food manufacturer. He was assigned to working out the engineering plans for a rape seed plant they were building in Lloydminster, Alberta. He had to travel to Japan several times to learn about rape seed oil production from them. I have a housecoat that my mother bought there on one trip when she went with him. Sorry about your cat. He looks precious.

  6. Love the bright yellowness of rapeseed, but the aroma is not so pleasant O.o

  7. I'm kind of just surfacing after my rotator cuff surgery and glad to hear you are ok after the earthquake. The images are startling.

  8. I would like to donate quilts and blankets to the people of Japan, do you know who I could contact to have these delivered to those in need? I realize the need is great, but helping 50 or more people is better than sitting around and helping none. I am so happy you are safe!