Maneki Neko Bicycle Playing Cards 2 Deck Set
Hi, my name is Edisun Sun. I am a person who is constantly inspired by traditional elements, especially those of the Japanese tradition. No matter if it’s the beautiful vistas, the food or just the Japanese culture in general, I have always been fascinated by the way how fully it has been preserved in the tradition.
There are many symbols that one could mention when talking about Japanese culture. Cherry blossoms, kimonos, tea ceremony, they all have a very deep meaning behind them. However, the one that must be the luckiest and happiest must be the Maneki Neko (the Japanese Lucky Cat).
Maneki Neko is a traditional cat-shaped decoration, which has been highly esteemed especially in the Edo period more than 400 years ago. This is my first deck of cards and therefore I chose this lucky charm as the theme in the hope of portraying our never-ending pursuit of happiness.
Bicycle Maneki Neko has two versions, Blue and Red. The overall style is subtle and beautiful but also manages to show the cat’s cute and mischievous nature.
The specific shade of deep blue is supposed to represent the sea, as we know it from the traditional Ukiyo-e style paintings. The front is adorned with three chubby white cats sitting behind a folding fan with the signature gold koban, a “ten million gold coin” decorating it.
The moment you look at the box, you can feel the cordial and welcoming nature of the Maneki Neko, who can become your very personal lucky charm. When you turn the box around, you’ll be greeted by a multitude of lucky cats waving at you. They are drawn in three styles – black, white and mixed. Each of them is a charm of something else and represents a different kind of good wish.
All the small details are symbols that I specifically chose for their implications:
- The whole box is covered in subtle symbols of wind, which appear very elegant and retro.
- You can find a cat holding a Koinobori (a carp-shaped windsock), and also a picture of Mount Fuji, the symbol of health and longevity.
- There is another koban golden coin on top of the box, so opening it feels like opening a treasure chest full of lucky cats.
- The traditional Japanese tomoe sign is added to the sides, and it represents the power of the Heavens and the Earth.
The red and blue versions are designed to be quite similar, with differences in small details.
- The red color is also derived from the Ukiyo-e style and appears bright and vivid.
- The design looks as if it’s spreading around from one central point, adding a sense of dynamics to the illustration.
- Instead of Mount Fuji, the red version has a torii gate, symbolizing the channel for gods through which they can pass on blessings to the people.
Each of the version is sealed with a sticker, which is also decorated with a lucky cat. The blue version uses a silver sticker, while the red a gold one. The overall style is consistent with the Ukiyo-e style and appears light and easy on the eye.
- Printed by The United States Playing Card Company.
- Bicycle Brand
- Numbered seal 0001 of 2500
- Limited edition
- No reprint
- 56 cards 100% Original design
- 2019 Release