You may remember the Neko Cup, a mold of a sleeping cat designed to turn beaches and parks into heaven for cat lovers. Now it appears the Neko Cup has found a smaller spiritual successor in the form of the newly released "Happy Neko Maneki Neko Maker"--a kitty mold that can turn small servings into good luck cats and help ward off evil spirits.
The mold is available from Japanese bookstore and oddity shop Village Vanguard, which has a reputation for cat-related goods such as realistic cat head phone chargers and kitty motif gaming earphones. It turns whatever you fill it with into the shape of a maneki neko (beckoning cat), a traditional Japanese figurine of a cat thought to summon good luck to its owner. You'll often find businesses in Japan displaying maneki neko in hope of "summoning" good fortune and customers, or as household good luck charms.
It can also be filled with course salt to use as morijio (pictured below), which is salt laid outside of homes and businesses to ward off bad luck and also invite fortune. Combined with the auspicious feline powers of the maneki neko, you stand to double your luck.
Because the mold is safe to use with food products, it's also recommended to use to craft kitty food structures with ingredients such as grated daikon radish. Of course, any ingredient soft enough to fit in the mold will do, so you can have fun making as many culinary cat creations as you can think of. It can also be used simply to make an interior decoration good luck charm.
The mold is pretty easy to use. It's recommended that, particularly when using course salt, to moisten the interior of the mold. Otherwise, simply feed your material or ingredient in from the bottom and then press both haves together tightly to make your lucky cat.
The mold comes along with a koban (a gold coin used in the Edo period) shaped stand. Maneki neko are often shown holding a koban.
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