Round Fans and Folding Fans – Carrying the eco-friendly and sustainable aesthetic of Japanese summer.

Round Fans and Folding Fans

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The reason for his calm face was “Kikka Sensu,” a folding fan from Haibara.

It was a sweltering summer day. I was with a male editor acquaintance heading for an office about a 20-minute walk from the nearest station, where we were to have a meeting.
By the time we arrived, I was drenched in sweat, and even though I held it down with a handkerchief, it did not go away.

I looked at him, who was standing next to me, and he was in a crisp suit, but with a relaxed expression on his face, he said, “This is a nice office, isn’t it?”
Why aren’t you dripping with sweat? I looked at his hand and saw a beautifully shaped fan. He told me it was a “Kikka Sensu (chrysanthemum fan)” from Haibara.

More people have portable fans to keep cool in outdoor environments. However, it is still chic to see people casually take out a fan, open it quickly, and fan themselves.
It is the Japanese sense of summer beauty that is both eco-friendly and sustainable.
Of course, I immediately stopped by the Nihonbashi store in Haibara on my way home from a meeting.

“If you get a lot, you will be lacking.” The refined spirit of our predecessors

The handiwork of the artisans and the beautiful colors and designs of the folding fans were so comfortable and relaxing that I felt at ease when I picked one up lined up in the store.
It’s a nice folding fan. Can I try it?
I asked the staff and quickly opened the folding fan. Hmm? The fan is beautiful, but my movements are not sophisticated. I wonder how to handle a fan smartly.

Then, a staff member, who couldn’t help but take care of me, showed me how to open a fan.
There are manners to handle a fan smartly. First, when opening, you hold the Kaname* with your right hand so that Oyabone* is at the top. Then open it by shifting the bones diagonally one by one from the Oyabone with your left thumb.
“*Oyabone: main bones, the thick bones at both ends of the fan
*Kaname: the part where the bones at the base of the folding fan are gathered”

The last one to three bones should be attached to the Oyabone and not opened. As the saying goes, “If you get a lot, you will be lacking,” so we do not open the bone all the way but leave a slightly closed portion for use.”

If you get a lot, you will be lacking. In a time full of greed, how humbling. In an age filled with desire, what a humble and purified phrase.
Our predecessors saw the value and charm in incomplete things and dared to leave a part of them open as if to say, “Once you reach the peak, you will only be missing.”

I immediately opened it as the staff had taught me. Oh my, it was smart and cool.
The “Kikka Sensu” is going to be my must-have item for summer.

The Haibara round fan is a cutting-edge fashion item from the Edo period

When talking about Haibara’s way of keeping cool, uchiwa, round fans, appear together with folding fans.
Haibara has been selling woodblock printed fans since its establishment, and the beautiful shapes and designs by leading painters attracted the attention of the Edo people.
Haibara round fans were so well established as a stylish summer fashion item that they were said to be the first to become fashionable in early summer.

A lineup of beautiful round fans that is hard to choose from

Let me introduce Haibara’s original round fans by genre.

The first is the “Big full moon” fan, which has a large fan surface and creates a supple breeze.
The fan is made of handmade Washi paper with a design carved out of Shibu-katagami, using the pattern of “stencil dyeing picture” which is dyed in the same process as kimono.
The artisans tailor everything from the pattern to the framework by hand, making them durable and lightweight. By holding it in your hand and looking at it, you will feel a refreshingly cool sensation.


Next is the “Chidori Uchiwa,” which is a little unusual and features a plover-like shape.
When you hold it in your hand, you will see that the horizontally long fan surface catches the wind firmly, and the wide area of the handle makes it easy to hold. I have never had such a feeling before.
It seems to be popular as a fan combining beauty and functionality.
The artisans who inherited the “Miyako Uchiwa” are handcrafting each one of them. The chic and elegant design is also a beautiful feature.

Chidori Uchiwa

Do you choose by design, color, or functionality?
It can be hard to decide which fan to choose, but popular designs are said to sell out quickly every year, so it is a good idea to make a decision earlier.
Not only for yourself but also gifts and souvenirs, there is no doubt that you will be pleased.

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