Happy Birthday, Hikonyan!

ひこにゃん Hikonyan

ひこにゃん Hikonyan is a samurai helmet wearing white cat mascot representing the city Hikone in Shiga Prefecture of Japan. Legend has it that a white cat sitting at a temple’s gates beckoned the Hikone Daimyo (a.k.a. feudal lord) 井伊直孝 Ii Naotaka to come closer to it and saved him from a lightning strike. From the same legend, the famous 招き猫 maneki-neko or beckoning cat, seen in the form of countless ceramic coin banks, and Hikonyan are born.

Hikonyan at Hikone Castle
Hikonyan at Hikone Castle

Hikonyan is created to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Hikone Castle’s completion. Built in 1607, 彦根城 Hikone Castle is one of only twelve original Japanese castles. Hikonyan often makes appearances at the Hikone Castle Museum. His job is to make cute movements and pose.


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