In Japan, black maneki neko are talismans for warding off bad spirits. Although there are several folktales about the origin of maneki neko, the most popular involves a stray cat and an impoverished shop owner. The story goes that despite being down on his luck and barely able to feed himself, the impoverished shop owner takes in a stray, hungry cat. Grateful for the shop owners charity, the cat then takes post outside, beckoning visitors into the shop. The cute cat, sitting on hind legs with one paw beckoning, eventually turns around the shop owners misfortunes. The tale of maneki neko and the widespread belief across Japan of its power as a lucky charm, led ceramist and paper Mache artisans over the years to create different colored figurines to bring good luck and fortune for different occasions.