Art Around the World- Japanese Hand Fans

Last Updated on December 3, 2019 by Marjorie R. Rogers

Japanese Hand Held Fans have been 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!)

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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.

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

2. You can have your child decorate their fan using traditional Japanese symbolism- or have them tell a story of their own. Each “panel” (a 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.

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

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.

5. Complete a Japanese Fan Dance for fun!

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

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