The Onomichi IHATOV is a museum of maneki-neko (beckoning cats) built in a vacant house in Onomichi. A beckoning cat is an ornament of a cat that originated in Japan and is posed to invite people in with its paws. They have been placed in stores and other places in Japan since ancient times to promote business prosperity and ward off evil. In the Onomichi IHATOV, visitors can experience Japan’s proud culture of maneki neko by viewing the thousands of maneki neko in the collection of Mr. Shunji Sonoyama, a painter of good fortune.
Moment of Joy
The attraction of the Onomichi IHATOV is that you can compare different variations of the maneki neko, which are rarely seen in Japan nowadays. In addition to the orthodox white-haired ones, the museum has a wide variety of beckoning cats with different sizes and facial expressions. There are even some historic beckoning cats on display, including one that was given to the museum by the emperor and another that was made long ago.