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A Japanese uchiwa

Uchiwa is a traditional Japanese fan. It is often used to create a breeze to keep cool in hot weather. They are part of Japanese seasonal traditions and are often given as gifts during these times. Originally, uchiwa were made from big leaves and animal hair. The purpose was to purify and pray. Over time they have changed, and are now made from bamboo and paper. There are many kinds of pattern; during the Han Dynasty they were often decorated by famous calligraphers.[1] During the Edo period they were made as souvenirs for shrines.[1] During the Meiji period they were admired by foreigners and imported to other countries.

History[change | change source]

The oldest uchiwa can be seen in the records of ancient China, as well as the wall paintings of Ancient Egypt. By the end of the Kōan (Muromachi period) period, uchiwa was made from bamboo and paper.

Function[change | change source]

Uchiwa is used to fan cooking and to keep cool. Some people use it to purify disease. Uchiwa is almost always used in summer festival dances.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Jaanus uchiwa 団扇". aisf.or.jp. 2007. Retrieved 26 June 2011.