Japan is an excellent country, which is full of rich history, as well as futuristic innovation, world-class food, spectacular landscapes, and even ancient traditions which have stood the test of time. When someone mentions Japan, there is no doubt that it will conjure up a lot of images in your mind. This can include Mt. Fuji, cherry blossom season, the towering skyscrapers of Tokyo, or maybe even anime and manga. Do you also think about women clad in the Japanese kimonos holding a fan or an umbrella? What do these fans symbolize and what is their history?
- The history of the folding Japanese fan.
The folding Japanese fan is quite important in the culture of Japanese society. Although a fan is conventionally meant to provide a cool breeze during hot summer days, it may also be seen to be associated with some traditional dance forms, as well as some other cultural aspects of the country.
It is one of the best souvenirs which you may bring from Japan as they are beautiful, as well as very practical. A folding fan is actually called a ‘sensu’ or ‘o-gi,’ while the type which does not fold is called an ‘uchiwa.’ Both these fans have Japanese calligraphy writing, or beautiful patterns decorating them.
The folding fan has been invented in Japan between the 6th and the 9th centuries. These fans are traditionally made of narrow wooden strips, and washi paper or silk is utilized in between them. The traditional fan always utilizes washi paper, which is also utilized in traditional sliding doors. The fans that are actually made of silk are said to be the most precious.
There has been a fan named ‘hi-o-gi’ or the ‘court fan’ with some special wood and silk stitching; such fans were also considered the symbol of high social status. Nowadays, a lot of different types of sensu are available at different price rates. We can find some fans of paper and other wooden at 100 yen shops too. Most of the fans have cute patterns and pictures on them. The traditional pictures such as cherry blossoms usually appear on these fans since they tend to be the most popular.
One of the main advantages of these snesu fans is that they are actually handy and they can be carried with you always. It consumes just a small space inside of your bag, and therefore, it can be utilized at any place while you are traveling.
The folding fan, which was reportedly invented by the Japanese in the seventh century, was carried out by both men and women in Far Eastern society. A lot of different categories of fans existed, each of them with its appropriate use or users – such as the ones that were carried by samurai or those utilized on the stage at the time of a performance.
Owners of fans could express their tastes through the decoration of the fan, and a lot of attention and effort has been expended in their embellishment.
Occasionally, any Japanese may have also utilized them as screens against evil, but nowadays, they are maybe better known as the accouterment of a flirtatious geisha.
- Fan tattoos, meaning, and symbolism.
The Japanese fans are usually made of different materials, such as bamboo, turtle shells, ivory, and bones. They are created to fold and to stand out, as well as show a panoramic scene when unfolded. They usually depict some Japanese characters, but they don’t have to. A lot of fans have romantic poetry written on them. They can even be utilized as motifs for beautiful tattoo designs.
There is actually different symbolism in Japan connected with fans. The fan itself is a symbol of prosperity as it spreads out when it is open, similar to the one of the blooming flower or the widening of wealth. The fan can also symbolize generosity and good luck.
As the fan begins from a single point and the wooden strips go out to different directions, they are said to resemble several paths leading us through life after the single point of birth.
When used in tattoo art, fans make really beautiful designs, which will adorn people’s skin, so they are often attracted by those eye-catching designs and decide to tattoo them.
In tattoo art, the fan tattoo can hold a great symbolic value for those who wear them. They can represent:
- Good fortune;
- Intense Emotion.
However, you know that your tattoo is going to symbolize and represent what you want it to.
- Fan tattoo variations and designs.
Another great thing about the Japanese fan tattoos is the fact that they may be designed in many different ways, and look great in size, or be tattooed almost everywhere on the body.
You can combine them with any other Japanese character or symbol, such as cherry blossom, koi fish, or dragons, or also as a part of a Ganesha design.
However, any other symbol or element may also be incorporated. Flowers are a quite popular choice among tattoo lovers, and they often choose the lotus, orchid, or even the rose.
A lot of people choose to have elaborate scenes depicted on the fan. When it comes down to it, you may do a lot with the design. The exciting part is decorating the fan.