Whether you're celebrating the beginning of a new year and a new decade, and wish to participate in the tradition upheld in Japan (and many other parts of Asia) of welcoming good fortune with auspicious items, or whether you're simply on the market for a good luck charm (or even if you just love cute cats), then look no further than these adorable notes featuring manekineko cats!

In case you have yet to see one, either in fiction or in reality, manekineko 招き猫 are cat-shaped figurines believed to invite good fortune to homes and businesses. You'll often see them displayed at shop windows. They are so popular in Japan that there is even a temple dedicated to them.

Photo by © grape Japan

These alternative Japanese banknotes in the lucky amount of 700 JPY were designed in a collaboration with two Japanese illustrators. As he explains in the Tweet posted below, Bokoyai (@bokoyai) drew a mother cat and her kittens in the famous manekineko pose, and Ponkichi (@ponkichiM) drew the rest.

If the names Ponkichi and Bokoyai sound familiar, that's because this isn't the first time the two illustrators have collaborated on alternative banknotes. It all started in 2019 when Japan's Finance Ministry announced new official designs for the 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000-yen bills. Ponkichi created an alternative mame shiba inu 500 yen banknote so adorable it got turned into official merchandise. Soon after, Bokoyai proposed a 200 yen banknote made by the fictional "Japan Cat Bank" featuring background art by Ponkichi.

And now, the two are back at it again with the second series from the "Japan Cat Bank," a lucky 700 yen banknote. And just like the 200 yen note, there's merchandise available too for you to take home!

Manekineko Banknote Goods

Memo notepad

  • Name (JP): 招福・猫紙幣 メモ帳
  • Translation: Good luck cat banknote memo notepad
  • Retail price: 770 JPY (incl. tax)
  • Materials: Paper, 60 sheets
  • Size: Approx. 71 mm x 140 mm

Pass case

  • Name (JP): 招福・猫紙幣 パスケース
  • Translation: Good luck cat banknote pass case
  • Retail price: 1,595 JPY (incl. tax)
  • Materials: leatherette
  • Size: Approx. 68 mm x 135 mm

Keychain accessory

  • Name (JP): 招福・猫紙幣 合皮キーホルダー
  • Translation: Good luck cat banknote leatherette keychain accessory
  • Retail Price: 770 JPY (incl. tax)
  • Materials: leatherette, keychain ring
  • Size: Approx. 40 mm x 75 mm

Coin purse

  • Name (JP): 招福・猫紙幣 小銭入れ
  • Translation: Good luck cat banknote coin purse
  • Retail Price: 1,870 JPY (incl. tax)
  • Materials: leatherette
  • Size: Approx. 67 mm x 125 mm

Flat pouch

  • Name (JP): 招福・猫紙幣 フラットポーチ
  • Translation: Good luck cat banknote flat pouch
  • Retail Price: 1,650 JPY (incl. tax)
  • Materials: 10.4 ounce cotton canvas
  • Size: Approx. 120 mm x 200 mm

Smartphone case

  • Name (JP): 招福・猫紙幣 手帳型スマホケース
  • Translation: Good luck cat banknote book-style smartphone case
  • Retail Price: 3,520 JPY (incl. tax)
  • Materials: Leather tone polyurethane, magnet, protective sheet
  • Size: Approx. M 147 mm x 169 mm / L 157 mm x 185 mm

Round fastener wallet

  • Name (JP): 招福・猫紙幣 ラウンドファスナー財布
  • Translation: Good luck cat banknote round fastener wallet
  • Retail Price: 3,465 JPY (incl. tax)
  • Materials: polyester
  • Size: Approx. 100 mm x 190 mm

Other goods include a handkerchief and a towel.

The manekineko 700 JPY banknote lineup is currently available from Space Factory's online shop, and items are gradually becoming available on Amazon as well.

By - Ben K.