Japanese Fan, c. 1910.

1910sArts & CultureFashion
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Japanese folding fan (sensu), c. 1910.

“Incidental mention of fans occur in the oldest official annals of Japan. The chief kinds of fans are the uchiwa or round fan, not capable of being shut, and the ogi or sensu, folding fan.

“A noble lady, widow of the youthful hero Atsumori, is credited with the invention of the folding fan. At the temple of Mieido in Kyoto, whither she had retired as a nun to hide her grief, she cured the abbot of a fever by fanning him with a folded piece of paper, over which she muttered incantations, and to the present day the priests of this temple are considered special adepts in the manufacture of fans, when the name of ‘Mieido’ adopted by many fan-shops in Japan.”

We Japanese, Vol. 1, Miyanoshita Fujiya Hotel, 1934

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