If you’re looking for a cute way to bring in good luck, this unique manekineko mold might be what you’re looking for.

From instant curry in unorthodox eye-popping colors to backpacks that make you look like you’re carrying a piece of meat on your back, Japanese retailer Village Vanguard continues to surprise us with unexpected products we never knew we needed.

This time, they’re offering a mold that allows you to make adorable little cat figurines… from salt!

And not just any cat figurine — they’re in the shape of manekineko,  the “beckoning cat” that is traditionally considered to bring in fortune and good luck.

Plus, by creating a product that allows you to make figurines from salt, they’ve made something that’s doubly lucky. That’s because salt has traditionally been used to ward off bad luck, particularly by placing a pile at entrances in a practice called “mori-shio” (literally, “piled up salt”). Salt is considered to have purifying properties, and piles of mori-shio can still be seen in Japan today, mainly at restaurant entrances.

Here’s what you get in the beckoning cat mold set, called the “Nyandemo Manekineko Maker” (the “Make Anything into a Manekineko Gadget”):

▼ It comes with the molds, plus a mounting plate in the shape of a koban, a traditional Japanese flat gold coin.

▼ And here’s the resulting salt figurine. Yup, it’s made from just salt and a little water!

▼ You can see they paid attention to the details, including the bell around the neck and even the whiskers.

▼ It’s designed so the mold can be taken apart easily from the front and back.

▼ The round form of the cat gives it a suitably cuddly appearance.

They also give you detailed instructions on how to use the mold to make sure that your cat figurine looks the way it should.

Step 1: First you grip the mold firmly.

Step 2: Then you tightly squeeze the material you’re using for the figurine (in most cases salt) into the mold.

Step 3:  Lastly, you slowly separate the front and back and front of the mold, and you have your beckoning cat figurine!

They also give you some additional tips for using the mold:

・For salt figurines, use coarse salt.
・Before use, wash the mold with water and dry thoroughly with a dry towel.
・Lightly wet the salt with a spray bottle before putting it into the mold.
・Tightly pack the salt into the mold once with your finger when the mold is about one-third full, then fill the mold entirely and pack in the salt firmly again.

▼ Just to make sure you have no problem, they even have a video demonstrating how to use the mold!

Once you’ve created your little beckoning cat, you can use it to decorate your room…

…or you can even use it to create a cat from grated radish (daikon oroshi) to add some super-cute edible decoration to your food:

The Manekineko mold is availalbe for 2,178 yen (US$20) on the Village Vanguard online shop. If you like cats and you want to bring in some good fortune into your life (and we can’t fault you on either account), this certainly looks like a fun way to combine the two!

Source: PR Times, Village Vanguard online shop
Top Image: PR Times
Insert images: VIllage Vanguard online shop
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