The story of Maneki Neko and his good fortune dates back to the 1600s, when a prosperous businessman took refuge from a downpour under a tree. Across from the tree was a small, impoverished temple, tended by a priest who shared his meager meals with the temple cat, Tama. As the businessman stood there under the tree, he noticed the cat across from him, beckoning with his paw. Intrigued, the businessman left his shelter to go better check out the cat. No sooner had he crossed the path than a bolt of lightening struck the tree under which he had just been standing. The man then befriended both the priest and the cat. As a result, they never went hungry again and the temple became prosperous. Upon his death, Tama was buried in the temple’s cat cemetery with great honor, and the Maneki Neko, or Beckoning Cat, was created. It is believed that good fortune will befall households or businesses that display a Maneki Neko.