Japanese Hand Fans

Japanese Hand Fans

The Japanese hand fans are an important symbol in Japan . They were used by warriors as a form of weapon, actors and dancers for performances, and children as a toy. In Japan fans are given to others as present and serve as trays for holding gifts. You would also find them sometimes used in religious ceremonies and events.

The Japanese believes that the top of the handle of the fan symbolizes the beginning of life and the ribs stand for the roads of life going out in all directions to bring good fortune and happiness.

Hand fans have a long history in Japan . The legends tell us the Japan was the homeland of the modern folding fan. Evidences tell us as early as the 6th century A.D. in Fukuoka , a wall painting of burial mounded showed drawings of fans. These were very similar to the Chinese style ceremonial fans that we see.

The Japanese fan was influence greatly by the oriental hand fans and was obviously modeled on during the Han Dynasty in China. In the early days, there where two types of Japanese fans, the tuan shan “round fan” and the bian mian “screen fan”. The latter was any rigid fan which could be conveniently held in the hand.

Traditionally, the Japanese fans were like the Asian hand fans where it was made of feathers or silk stretch over a round or oval frame. Larger size fan made for ceremonial purposes where mounted on long pole and used by attendants in the ceremonial support of high officials at important functions or processions.

Hand fans from Japan comes in many different colors and patterns to suit the user. For example, around 1500’s command troops used fans made from stick cover in black lacquer, with guards of bronze or iron which was supported by heavy paper leaf upon which displayed a sun or moon device.

Today, in traditional situation, Japanese fans play and important role as a property. Many ladies still likes to use it as a means of keeping cool in the hot weather and for performance purposes.