Maneki Neko, the Beckoning Cat

18 07 2009

In the 17th century, there was a rundown and poverty-stricken temple in Tokyo. The temple’s priest was very poor, but he shared some food he had with his pet cat, Tama.

One day, a wealthy and important man was caught in a storm while hunting and he took refuge under a big tree near the temple. While he waited for the storm to pass, the man noticed a cat beckoning him to come inside the temple gate. This was so startling that he left the shelter of the tree to have a closer look at this unusual cat. At that moment, the tree was struck by lighting.

As a result, the wealthy man became friends with the poor priest, and the temple became prosperous. The priest and his cat never went hungry again.

When Tama died he was buried in the Goutokuji Temple’s cat cemetery with respect and love, and the Maneki Neko was made in honor of him. A Maneki Neko in your business, your home or on your website is said to bring in good luck and visitors.

Maneki Neko is Japanese for “beckoning cat.” The message he is holding says “Please come in. You are welcome!” and he is beckoning you with his paw . (In Japan, the gesture of beckoning is pretty much the reverse of the gesture used in the West.)

Here’s a Maneki Neko card I received from a Japanese girl, she sent it to me as a surprise:

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A closer look at UNESCO WHS: Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou

15 07 2009

Name: Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou
Country: Morocco
Type: Cultural
Year of inscription: 1978
The site in Google Maps

Aït Benhaddou is a ‘fortified city’, or ksar, along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech in present-day Morocco. It is situated in Souss-Massa-Draâ on a hill along the Ouarzazate River and has some beautiful examples of kasbahs, which unfortunately, sustain damages during each rainstorm. Most of the town’s inhabitants now live in a more modern village at the other side of the river. Ten families still live within the ksar.





Please, shut up…

13 07 2009

No, not you, dear reader. That is what the guy on the right must have thought when the guy on the left started to practise his trumpet skills…. 😀

I took this photo at the Dutch Open Solar Boat Challenge in Goes on June 19, 2009.





Cheese… Bunny Suicides

12 07 2009

Bunny Suicides is a cartoon drawn by Andy Riley. Each cartoon shows one or more white rabbits in their creative attempts to end their lives using a variety of items.

I received this card of a Bunny Suicide attempting to end his live using a grater.





A postcard of Ampelmännchen

5 07 2009

The Ampelmännchen is the symbolic person shown on traffic lights at pedestrian crossings in the former DDR (East Germany).

Before the German reunification, the two German states had different forms for the Ampelmännchen, with a generic human figure in West Germany, and a generally male figure wearing a hat in the east.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Ampelmännchen became a popular souvenir item in the tourism business.

This is the postcard I have:





A closer look at UNESCO WHS: White City of Tel-Aviv

1 07 2009

Name: White City of Tel Aviv – the Modern Movement
Country: Israel
Type: Cultural
Year of inscription: 2003
The site in Google Maps

The White City is the name given to Tel Aviv because of the large number of white, or light-coloured buildings built there between the 1920s and the 1950s in the Bauhaus or International style.

Over 4000 buildings in these styles can still be seen in central Tel Aviv; the largest concentration in any one city in the world.

This is my card of Tel Aviv:

I have also visited Tel Aviv myself. 🙂





Wiki loves art /NL: Kunsthal Rotterdam

29 06 2009

The Kunsthal is a museum in Rotterdam and is situated in the Museumpark. The building was designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.

For an art project, Wiki loves art/NL, I’ve visited the Kunsthal and took photos. I’ll show some. 🙂





More Kunsthal Rotterdam.
More Wiki loves art /NL.
More Kunsthal Rotterdam by me.