Fans for every occasion
There are countless numbers of fan styles in Japan – almost as many as there are occasions to use them. From cha-sen, used during tea ceremonies, through to mai-ougi used in buyo dance and gunbai, employed by samurai officers for communication. Within these many categories are two common physical styles; sensu, folding fans, and uchiwa, round fans with a handle. Fans serve a far wider-ranging purpose than simply cooling the handler. In feudal Japan, fans would offer visual commands to soldiers, or be employed as weapons. More decorative fans act as a stylish accessory to an outfit or can be given as a gift. In ancient times, fans would ward off negative energy, making room for positive forces and prayers of happiness. Such small, indiscriminate objects often have a greater meaning in Japanese society.