This white paper fan is decorated with images of two Japanese women and flowers. The bottom of the wooden frame is also embellished with floral designs.
Fans such as this have a long history in Japan, dating back more than 1,500 years. According to legend, the folding fan was invented in Japan when a widow folded a piece of paper into pleats to cool and cure a monk suffering from a high fever. Today, both men and women continue to handle fans for this purpose in Japan’s humid summer months.
Oftenused in traditional theatrical dance performances, the folding fan has also served in royal court customs, passed cakes during tea ceremonies, and even entered into battle. Instead of a weapon, samurai utilized fans to communicate during war. Fans are frequently gifted at New Year’s celebrations, weddings, and young men's sixteenth birthdays to symbolize coming-of-age.
Discovery Kit: Newcomers (October 25 2019) Discovery Kits include a variety of artifacts and specimens from the Museum’s Collection that allow students to investigate global and local objects. The Collections support the Museum’s mission of inspiring curiosity and discovery around science, history, and culture. Each kit includes objects from the Museums archives, helpful resources and suggested activities. Discovery Kits are a great way for teachers to incorporate primary source and object-based learning into the classroom or as a way to prepare for or extend a Museum visit.