In the heart of Tokyo’s Ginza district, the neon-lit cylindrical building of San-ai Dream Center has stood since since 1963, and so has ‘Coicorin,’ a pair of nearly identical cats sculpted from Mikage-ishi, a type of Norwegian granite.
The sculpture was created by the modernist sculptor Masayuki Nagare, the famous “Samurai Artist“ whose works can be found in art museums across Japan and America. While the sculptures themselves are nothing but ordinary cats, this feline couple is known for their wish-granting powers.
The one on the left, named Nonki, is female, and Gorobê on the right, is male. Petting the cat of the opposite sex from you is said to be good luck if you are having trouble in love. According to the plaque nearby, if you are wishing for someone to love, you should pet the cat twice on the head; if you have a crush on someone, pet it twice on the face; if you want to get back together with your ex, pet it twice on the back with a prayer; if you want to lose weight and restart, stroke it twice on the stomach; and if your partner is cheating on you, spank the statue’s butt twice, and your wishes will come true.
Because of this luck tradition, the statues’ faces are visibly worn, all but rubbed away. Be careful and don’t be too greedy when you make a wish on the cat, though, as petting it more than twice is said to weaken the effects.
Update of September 2023: The building is under renovation.
Know Before You Go
San-ai Dream Center is a three-minute walk from Ginza Station. The male cat, Gorobê, is located at the edge of Le Café Doutor Ginza, and the female one, Nonki, can be found beside a florist's shop.