Folding fan is an important item of ritual, when dedicated the dance for the God.
August has started.
If you have been in Kyoto, you know that the August is the hottest month of the year.
This is why, a lot of people take "summer vacation" by taking advantage of the traditional seasonal event "Obon festival " which is one of the important event for us to console the spirits of our ancestors: by offering flowers for tombs, offering sweets for alters, and dedicate the dance for spirits etc...
This year, I offer special sweets "Lace Kan" for my ancestors. This is one of the popular sweets in Kyoto by using lemon and agar. The surface is looks like lace knitting , we call it "Lace Kan", and the expression "Kan" is often used for Japanese sweets (the origin of "Kan" is so complicated, I do not explain for the detail here, sorry...)
We had it after offering for our ancestors. The texture made us satisfied, not too sweet and little bit bitter. This excellent sweets should have offered the happiness for our ancestors.
As I mentioned, in this hot season, we organize several "Obon Festivals" all over Japan.
The dance at the festival is called as "Bon Odori" and people wear Yukata(Summer Kimono made of cotton) and dance on holding "Mai sensu",special folding fan.
Today, I will pick up several gorgeous folding fans especially "Folding fan for dance" and "Folding fan for decoration".
What is the difference between "Fan for dance " and Fan for decoration"?
We will compare the appearance at first.
Here is the fan only for the decoration.
Here is the fan for dance.
Have you discovered some difference?
The pattern of the fan decoration seems more sensitive and more complexed. The crane and flowers are painted with sensitive touch, because people enjoy this kind of decorative fan from nearby in a house like picture hanging on the wall or hanging screen on the wall.
On the other hand, the pattern of fan for dance seems more flamboyant and dynamic, because people enjoy it from afar. There is always some distance between dancers and audience.
However, you can discover more remarkable feature as follows.
The ribs are pasted on the surface of the fan, furthermore, fixed with string to increase durability.
When we dance with fan, we sometimes throw, shake and open it fast as follows, please click here to see the movie.
This is why the "Mai sensu" fan for dance is more durable.
So, if you have the fan only for the decoration, you do not have to use for the dance, not open roughly, not throw and shake.
Fan for dance is becoming so precious item
The fan for dance has been loved among Japanese people from long time ago, but the number of craft persons who can produce real dancing fan like our collection is decreasing.
These are all made by hand and ribs of the fan are bamboo of good quality: strong and supple.
The technique to paste the fans surface and ribs is also so delicate and difficult.
Even though we would like to train young people, it takes a lot of time and not so easy to inherit the traditional technique.
So, if you find some interesting fan for dance, we recommend you to gain it without hesitation.
Fan for decoration may bring you good fortune.
The shape of the folding fan is like "八" (eight of Chinese character). The end of character is spreading which means great perspective and he prosperity.
And people believed that God likes beautiful elegant fan for the dance, so when they dedicated the dance to the God, people have always used the folding fans.
We decorate some beautiful fans in a house for the above two reasons.
That's the story of the fan for dance and decoration.
Which one is interesting for you?
If you are interested in them, please check our collection from here.
Thank you so much for reading to the end.