Marugame Uchiwa – Colorful paper fans

The Uchiwa fan is a hand-made product from start to finish, consisting of a body made of bamboo and a head made from decorative paper or cloth.

Jan 19, 2023 - 08:18
Feb 3, 2023 - 08:35
Marugame Uchiwa – Colorful paper fans

The spokes of the fan are made from very thin and highly elastic bamboo. Visitors often buy as gifts for relatives during their trips to Japan.

People use washi paper - a traditional paper with a beautiful pattern to create the fan head, besides, the flower fabric - the cotton fabric often used to sew yukata is also very popular because durability and rich patterns. The motifs on the fan are often shaped like wind chimes, dragonflies, reeds, rice flowers... these are all familiar images of summer in Japan in particular and of countries with tropical climates around the world in particular. shared.

Floral patterns used to create Uchiwa fans often feature dragonflies, wind chimes, rice flowers, reeds, morning glory flowers, etc. They are all familiar images of summer not only in Japan but also for with everyone when having a chance to see about Japanese culture. There are three regions famous for the technique of Uchiwa fan making, which are in the ancient capital of Kyoto, Tateyama city of Chiba prefecture and Marugame city of Kagawa prefecture (in Marugame there is also a museum of Uchiwa fans).

Fans from these regions always seem unique, perhaps because of the decoration on the fan. The Uchiwa fan manufacturing industry used to be one of the flourishing craft industries in Japan, especially around the 17th-19th centuries. Nowadays, most factories usually import plastic fan bodies from origin. from China.

The city of Marugame is a place with a history of supplying bamboo slats to make fans to regions across Japan. There are also many paper fan makers here, so Marugame has many opportunities to make fans with many typical colors of the region. It is the combination of elements of the region that has created the "Marugame Uchiwa" paper fan now.

Today, people call the bamboo fans made in Marugame province with the combination of the above factors as "Marugame Uchiwa" paper fans. At one time, the paper fan "Marugame Uchiwa" was considered as an accessory of a samurai's costume. After the Meji period, people called Marugame the locality of the paper fan industry. Currently, "Marugame Uchiwa" paper fans account for 80% - 90% of the market share of paper fans in Japan.

After the chaos of the war until the end of the economic recovery period, the market began to appear fans, air conditioners, gas cities are more and more popular, the features of paper fans in life Japanese people's daily routine is gradually disappearing and the opportunity to use a paper fan as an item is decreasing. Along with the change of times, the paper fan industry has also gradually changed.

Nowadays, in addition to the purpose of advertising and promoting sales, paper fans with their own unique features are also sold at famous Japanese temples and used during summer festivals. People with the spirit of nature love often change the temperature of the air conditioner, use a paper fan to cool it, and use a paper fan for many different things in daily life.

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