Both of these designs were made in my sketchbook next to one another...
The "Maneki Neko" or "beckoning cat" is very popular in Japanese culture. I could not resist making my own very cute, wide-eyed cat.
The owl, or fukurou, is a good luck symbol in Japan as well. The sounds of the Japanese word for owl also mean "no trouble" which means the owl is lucky. It also symbolizes old age, and owl themed gifts are often given when someone turns 60. I wish my owl was on a lighter background now, because you cannot see just how adorable he is.
Only one more week of Japanese culture weeklies to go.