Fans are an integral part of many cultures around the world, each with its own unique characteristics and styles. Let’s take a brief look at the fans of three different cultures from the Far East: Japan, China, and Korea.
Japanese fans, known as “sensu”, are famous for their beauty and delicacy. These fans are made with bamboo wood and can be either folding or non-folding.
A type of fan called uchiwa.
Japanese fans often feature intricate and colorful designs that represent nature or scenes from everyday life.
The history of Japanese fans dates back to ancient times when they were used in various ceremonies and rituals. According to a popular legend, the folding fan was invented in Japan during the reign of Emperor Tenji (668-671).
Chinese fans have a history that dates back 3,000 years. The Chinese calligraphy character for the word “fan” has the same sound as the character for “kindness” or “good”. Therefore, fans are seen as lucky charms and expressions of generosity. These fans can be made from various materials such as feathers, hemp, silk which can be with or without embroidery, and paper.
Chinese fans often feature detailed and symbolic designs that represent nature or Chinese mythology.
When they were first created 3,000 years ago, Chinese fans were simply used to block the sun and to cool off. But over the years they evolved into works of art, status symbols, accessories for theater and dance, romantic gifts, and monuments for the dead.
Korean fans, known as “Buchae”, are an important part of Korean culture. These can be made from various materials such as feathers, hemp, silk which can be with or without embroidery, and hanji paper, with the latter being the most common in Korea.
Korean fans often feature colorful and detailed designs that represent nature or scenes from everyday life.
The Buchaechum dance is a traditional Korean dance also called fan dance, staged by groups of dancers and performed in ceremonies and celebrations.
In summary, although fans may seem simple at first glance, they are a rich and diverse expression of a country’s culture and history. Each type of fan has its own unique beauty and symbolizes different aspects of the culture of the country it comes from.