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  Fan Prints Blog  
  Hand-held fans are used worldwide to keep cool during hot and humid weather. In Japan there are two types of hand-held fans; namely, the folding fan (called either ōgi or sensu) and the non-folding fan (called uchiwa).  These two types of fans differ in shape, as shown below.  
  Japanese Fans  
  Artists often decorated the upper, paper portion of both types of fan with colored drawings of a variety of objects, including flowers and birds. Some of these drawings were painted while others were printed. Not all copies of the printed drawings were used and today these unused copies (called fan prints) are collected along with other forms of Japanese printed art. The Reader Collection of Japanese Flower-and-Bird Art includes a number of these fan prints. Two examples are shown below, the first a folding fan print and the second a non-folding fan print.  

Hokusai Folding Fan Print

  Hokusai Non-Folding Fan Print  
Some of the contemporary “fan prints” in the Reader Collection were made to decorate the walls of houses instead of being used as part of a fan. One example is shown below.

  Junsaku Koizumi Fan Print  

To see more fan prints from the Reader Collection click here.


Additional Reading

Faulkner, Rupert. 2001. Hiroshige Fan Prints. V&A Publications, London.
Hutt, Julia and Alexander, Hélène. 1992. Ōgi : a history of the Japanese fan. Dauphin, London.


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