Art Around the World- Japanese Hand Fans

Art Around the World- Japanese Hand Fans (3 of them)

Japanese Hand Held Fans have been a representation in Japan for many centuries. "The fan itself is symbolic, with the small end representing birth and the blades symbolizing the many possible paths leading away from this beginning. The colors on the fan are also significant. Red and white are considered lucky, and gold is thought to attract wealth." (Read more at E-How (source)- great article!)

You can decorate your Japanese fan with traditional symbols. Today we created a triptych using three pieces of paper to tell a story that has a beginning, middle and end.
3 year old's creation

Classified: Easy and is great for 4 year-old and up.

What you need:
  • Color copy paper- NOT construction paper (any color at least three sheets)
  • Craft Stick
  • Crayons
  • Watercolor paint
  • Popsicle Stick
  • Tape
What to do: 

1. Show your child images of traditional Japanese fans. Discuss the history of Japan and show them where in the world it is located!
Suggested Reading: The Magic Fan
The Magic Fan
2. You can have your child decorate their fan using traditional Japanese symbolism- or have them tell a story of their own. Each "panel" (piece of paper, vertically) will each tell a segment of the story (beginning, middle and end). my son drew a picture of himself asking his friend to play. The second "panel" showed his friend saying "yes." The final "panel" illustrated them playing together.
Drawing the story
Mom's traditional design- flowers

3. Once the drawing is completed with crayon, have them paint it in with watercolor and set aside to dry.
Painting the story with watercolor

5 year old's creation
4. Have your child (with help if needed) fold each panel of the fan back and forth. Do this all with all three "panels" and tape them together and then to the popsicle stick.
Mom's Creation

5. Complete a Japanese Fan Dance for fun!
Japanese Fan Dance

Japanese Fan Dance

6. Don't forget to get your passport and mark off Japan!

Linking to these fabulous parties.


  1. This is so great! They turned out so nice! It's funny I was thinking of making fans this week with my China theme! Wonderful books too!

  2. I love this! I'm prepping a Japan theme for the girls (we're going on a pretend trip around the world & Japan is our first stop). I think I'll add this craft... and try to find that book!

  3. I love this! Thanks for the idea, and for stopping by 3 Princess Academy!

  4. I used to love making these as a child! Thank you for "taking me back" :-)

    And thank you for joining in at Kids Get Crafty!


  5. Oh, I used to love doing this growing up! I have yet to do it with the girls but I know they'd love it - especially the dance afterwards! such a cute idea!

    I am enjoying this series BTW - so fun! :)

  6. Love this, so pretty. Where does the craft stick go, I don't see it in the picture of the finished fan.


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Aimee ~Classified: Mom

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