Arts & Design Culture Gift Guide

Japanese Hand Fans | Decor and Crafting Ideas

What do you know about Japanese hand fan? It is a Japanese art, is not it? A beautiful handcrafted Japanese hand fan could amaze you with its colorful design. I have collected some awesome crafted hand fans for our living room. In fact, they are perfect to decorate with, a handy item for summer and modeling.

If it is summer now, we must need a hand fan by which we can make a cool breeze and can take it to anywhere else without any hassle.

Japanese folding hand fan. Photo Credit: SarahTz at Flickr.

An electric fan can satisfy you a lot when it comes to get rid of a hot weather. But, this can’t satisfy you as a means of home decor accessory. In Japan, wherever you head to, just make sure you have got a Japanese hand fan. It surly make locals happy as you are holding one of their precious arts.

However, in this post you will be learning about Japanese hand fan history, how to make Japanese hand fan, Materials of making Japanese hand fans, Hand fan decor ideas, images of Japanese hand fans, and Japanese hand fans facts.

Japanese Hand Fan History

Japanese Girls Are Making Uchiwa. Photo credit: okinawa-soba at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

I think your kids would love to know about Japanese folding hand fans history just like you do. Am I right? Japan is the homeland of modern handheld hand fan that you see at different shops. It is a Japanese art and essential part of Japanese culture. If we look back in our hand fan history then we get a clear picture where it first appeared in our life in the 6th century A.D, in a city called Fukuoka, Japan.

The development of making Japanese hand fan had begun during the time of rising demand of ukiyo-e woodblock printing in the Edo period. Usually, fixed hand fan that is called “Uchiwa” and “Ogi or Sensu” was mostly used by women and folding hand fans were also used at that time.

So, there are two types of Japanese hand fans –

1) Fixed (Uchiwa) and

2) Folding (Sensu).

The popularity of using Japanese hand fans in Europe started in the early 1860 century. However, nowadays, thousands of foreign buyers import hand fans from Japan.

Japanese Hand Fan Popularity

Japanese hand fans are widely popular for many purposes such as for making wedding invitation, decorating room, crafting, presenting hand fans as a gift, modeling, and performing dances. Also it is used at the time of religious ceremony, as a toy for kids and most importantly making a cool airflow during summer and spring.

In the past, Japanese military used hand fan to send signals to its troops in the battle field. However, still in this 21st century, during the sumo wrestling sporting event, referee uses hand fan to control the contestant.

Japanese Hand Fan in Summer

A Perfect Japanese Silk Hand Fan for Summer – Cherry Blossoms Themed

Have you ever participated in any summer matsuri in Japan? Summer is awesome here and it may drive you to be very crazy seeing the fireworks display at night. In general, Japanese women take one or two light weight hand fans as a common accessory for participating on the summer festivals.

As the events take place outside, hot humid summer heat is enough to make you dehydrated and very thirsty. So they prefer to have a hand fan in hands for creating some cool airflow and please don’t forget to take a bottle of water! If you are smart and want to have a nice hand fan with you all the way through any summer festival here in Japan or even in your home country then buy one right away.

Materials of Making a Japanese Hand Fan

Usually, a Japanese hand fan is made from paper, bamboo, wood, and silk. These are the main materials you need to make a beautiful Japanese hand fan. Many ancient oriental Japanese hand fans were made by bamboo and paper. If you have ever visited Hand fan museum in California or London, I think you could imagine it how beautiful they are! Well, don’t be surprised if you see a huge fan on wall.

It is not for dancing, neither for making cool airflow but it is for decorating home’s wall. They are made of clothes and crafted well featuring different shape of objects. In Thailand, large wall hand fans are quite popular. Once I have seen a hand fan shop in Bangkok city, was pretty amazed to see their colorful designs. Later you will find how to decorate home with hand fan in this post.

How to Make a Wedding Invitation with a Hand Fan?

Japanese Handheld Folding Fan, with Traditional Japanese Ukiyo-e Art Prints
Japanese Handheld Folding Fan, with Traditional Japanese Ukiyo-e Art Prints. It is made of first-class bamboo that is very lightweight. You can easily carry it with you wherever you go. This hand fan has got an awesome design of ocean weaves. To buy this, just click here.

A beautiful Japanese hand fan is perfect for making a wedding invitation, just collect some and start writing wedding invitation massage on them. After doing this, just fold them and send them to the right person you want to invite. I suggest you to buy white, black, yellow or red color hand fan with no design in it. It will help you to write down the invitation message properly with marker or pen.

This wedding invitation is great, before my aunt’s wedding my grandparents brought this idea and it worked! Want to order some Japanese hand fans online now? You can visit in order to find beautiful Japanese hand fans. You surly find nice looking as well as cheap Japanese hand fans there.

Japanese Silk Handheld Fan – Flowers Themed

Japanese Silk Handheld Fan - Flowers Themed
Japanese Silk Handheld Fan – Flowers Themed

This is an ideal handmade Japanese hand fan which could bring a beautiful smile in your face. It looks like a vintage Asian hand fan! Look at it once and you can imagine it. Those beautiful small flowers have added a unique value to this hand fan. I highly recommend this one for decorating your house. Anyone who would visit your house would be delighted to see its design. Find more info here.

How to Make a Japanese Hand Fans (DIY project)

Uchiwa – Making Uchiwa Sounds Easy! Photo Credit: Sybile Art at Flickr.

Japanese hand fan crafting ideas are simple if you know some basic crafts techniques and guidelines. I have not tried to make them much as my mother has tried before. She still makes few when gets free time. In fact, there are many Japanese organizations, where people could make customize Japanese style hand fans at a cheapest price.

Usually, a buyer decides what color she/he wants or what kind of message they want to see on them (hand fans). They know how to make a Japanese hand fans out of paper, I think it is the simplest thing though when it comes to calligraphy printed hand fans then sometimes it takes time to make one. Here, I have featured few links that will teach you how to make silk, paper, fabric, antique and vintage hand fans.

1) How to Make a Japanese Folding Hand Fan

2) How to Make a Japanese Paper Fan

3) How to Make a Giant Japanese Paper Fan

4) Sensu: Experiments in Making a Folding Fan

5) How to Make a Japanese Handheld Fan

Japanese Handheld Fan with Bamboo and Dragonflies Prints

Japanese Handheld Fan with Bamboo and Dragonflies
Japanese Handheld Fan with Bamboo and Dragonflies

Asian hand fans are great to look at! I think you agree with me. Take a look at this beautiful Japanese hand fan shown below. Is not it very beautiful one? This sort of hand fan can brighten up your house when you decide to decorate it with.

You can use it as an wedding invitation hand fan. That would be fun! The design and paintings you see here are superb! If you are a lover of black color then, you can take this hand fan and collect it for many years as a collectible. Get this hand fan, here.

Japanese Design Silk Handheld Folding Fan/Sensu

This is a quite elegant traditional Japanese style silk handheld folding fan. As it is a beautiful Japanese hand fan, you simply could use it as a gift for someone you love. For example, you can present this one to your friends, wife, girlfriend, and co-workers.

On the other hand, you can use it as a home decor accessory. So it is all up to you, it matches for everything else. You can find more info about this hand fan and also can buy it at cheap price by visiting this Japanese Design Silk Handheld Folding Fan/Sensu.

Japanese Design Silk Handheld Folding Fan
Sensu/Japanese Design Silk Handheld Folding Fan.

Home Decor Idea with a Large Beautiful Japanese Decorative Wall Hand Fan

If you are interested in decorating your house with some traditional Japanese hand fans then you have come to the right place. This home decor idea is very simple but quite beautiful when are done with it.

Two rooms can be used for decorating them with hand fans; they are your living room and the bed room where you sleep. To me, you should give much priority to your living room better than the bed room because this is where people (visitors, friends and relatives) have seat and talk to you.

To complete this decor project you must collect a large wall hand fan, you can get it online such as on and ebay. However, when you get it, just choose a space of the living room wall then just hang them up. Follow these orders please:

1. Find the wall center, make sure it is clearly visible to everyone.

2. Make sure your hands are clean.

3. It is best when you use double sided tape, single normal picture hook or hanger at the bottom of the fan.

4. Apply double sided tape on back side of the fan’s ribs.

5. Finally, place it on the wall (at the spot) you have chosen and push softly not hardly. That’s it!

Hand fan dancing, Sawara Matsuri, Chiba. Photo Credit: d’n’c at Flickr.

I think you have learned a lot about Japanese traditional hand fan. My intention was to make you curious of Japanese hand fan. You have known almost everything you needed to know. Hand fan is a valuable gift idea especially in this modern era.

More or less everyone thinks that smartphone, laptop, tab could be a precious gift idea but when we think of arts then we simply could realize how a hand fan could make a great gift idea.

However, I have featured Japanese hand fan history here and types of it, including home decor and wedding invitation ideas. I hope this post helps you to understand why Japanese hand fan is widely popular souvenir for tourists to take home.


  1. How can I purchase. Japanese hand fan

  2. I like Japanese hand fans 🙂 Cheers Wanda

Leave a Reply