One day, a lord on his way back from falconry was beckoned by a cat at the temple gate and decided to stop by.
While spending time at the temple, thunder suddenly rang out and rain began to fall. Having gotten well out of a thundershower with an enjoyable conversation with the temple master, the lord was impressed by this luck that the cat brought.
The lord was Naotaka Ii, the lord of Hikone domain.
Financially backed up by Naotaka, Gotokuji temple was rebuilt in 1633.
Later, Gotokuji temple built the Shofuku-den to enshrine the cat that brought good fortune, naming it as "Manekineko". Ever since, many people visit Shofuku-den continuously to pray for well-being for the family, prosperous business, luck and happiness.
A statue in standing position of Shofuku Kannon-bosatsu is enshrined in Shofuku-den.
※Shofuku-den is under renovation until April 2022.
The pagoda holds sculpted Chinese zodiac (12 kinds of animals) and several cats. Come and count how many cats you can find!
The upraised right hand of Manekineko of Gotokuji holds no coin
while Manekineko does in general.
Actually, Manekineko does not bring
you a happiness directly. Manekineko brings you chances to link to
some people, and it is up to you whether you can make it work.
If you live in constant gratitude, luck and happiness come to you
spontaneously. Manekineko of Gotokuji holds no coin to teach this lesson.
Among twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac sculpted around
Sanju-no-to, you may find a Manekineko in the middle of mices. Despite
cat is said to have failed to get selected for the Chinese zodiac because
of the mouse’s cheat, they live along together in Gotokuji.
The twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac in Gotokuji are positioned
following the directions that each animal interprets such as the mouse
and the cat in the north, and the rabbit in the east.
You may meet more Manekinekos watching visitors warmly besides those introduced here.
Why don't you take a stroll through the lush green precincts of the temple looking for Manekinekos!
Find and click the
An array of Manekineko dolls is settled at Honojo.
Devotion is not mandatory but usually many people came back for offering after their wishes have become true.
Gotokuji’s original Ema holds a Manekineko in addition to the animal of the Chinese zodiac of the year.
This unique design of Ema can be only found at Gotokuji where the Manekineko that brought luck and happiness to Naotaka is enshrined.
At the temple office, you can buy Manekineko dolls, Manekineko amulets, etc.
Neighborhood cats may wander in to play.
If you meet them, something good may happen to you.
There are Manekinekos with all kinds of expressions,
such as a cat getting along with a mouse of the Chinese zodiac, and a cat relaxing in Sanju-no-to.