|Kanji in this term|
In Japanese culture, holding one's hand with the palm downwards and waving vertically is a gesture used to beckon someone. This is somewhat similar to an upside-down version of the beckoning gesture used in US culture. The way that cats will sometimes wave a front paw in the air is also similar to this Japanese beckoning gesture, giving rise to the iconic image of the maneki neko. This image is often used to beckon customers into a shop.
See the Wikipedia articles for more detail.
- Chinese: 招財貓