Kyoto uchiwa fans derived from Korean fans brought to Fukakusa in Kyoto in the early Muromachi period (1336-1392). Shortly after the Edo period (1603-1868) began, fans painted gorgeous and elegant patterns by court painters called Gosho-Uchiwa became popular among ordinal people and the basic structure of Kyoto uchiwa fan had been established.
●Designated as a Traditional Craft of Japan in 1977
Techniques and developments
The distinctive structure of Kyoto uchiwa fan is an insertion handle called Sashie, where the main body supported by the ribs, and the handle is made separately and joined together by inserting the handle into the body. 50-100 bamboo stalks are used to support the body. Kyoto uchiwa fans are considered to be more luxurious according to the number of these stalks. Their handles are usually made of bamboo and cypress trees. Some of them are decorated with lacquer. Those made by using the Ryo-Sukashi technique, cutting out patterns, and arranging them on both sides of the main body of the fan so that some parts of the stalks of the main body are uncovered, offer attractive harmony of stylish ambiance and the handle.
Kyoto uchiwa fans today
Elegant and fully aesthetic Kyoto uchiwa fans can please the eye by displaying them as a decoration or an artwork as well as by using them as a fan to keep people cool.