Bamboo is generally harvested during the winter season, and the appropriate bamboo to be selected has a certain thickness, with evenly spaced nodes, and straight.
Bamboo is split into small pieces to form the framework of the fan. The bamboo is split evenly into even numbers from the center, and the excess is shaved off during this process.
The bamboos are woven alternately with thread.
To secure the framework of the Uchiwa, tie the two ends together with string and a bow.
This is the process of attaching washi paper to the framework of the Uchiwa. Using a bamboo spatula, the bones are evenly spaced and glued so as not to allow air to enter.
You can watch the making process on YouTube!
What is Boshu Uchiwa?
Boshu Uchiwa is a traditional craft made from a single piece of bamboo in Chiba Prefecture. It is one of the three major types of Uchiwa in Japan (Marugame Uchiwa, Kyo Uchiwa, and Boshu Uchiwa), and was certified as a traditional craft by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry in 2003.
Characteristics of Boshu Uchiwa
The comfortable breeze created by the lightness and flexibility of the Boshu Uchiwa is its greatest feature. Since the entire framework is made of bamboo, it is really flexible and creating a gentle breeze. You may have experienced that your arms get tired, and you feel rather being hot when you fan yourself. The Boshu Uchiwa blows a cool breeze without the sensation of being fanning, and your arms do not get tired. They are excellent for use by men and women of all ages.
History of Boshu Uchiwa
Introduced from China in the Nara period (710-794), uchiwa were not used as a “fan” but as a tool for nobles to cover their faces or to ward off insects. It was not until the Edo period (1603-1867) that common people began to use them. It came to be used as a tool in daily life, for example, when making a fire for cooking, or to keep out the heat. Boshu Uchiwa, which is also the name of the craft, is the name of a place in Chiba Prefecture where flexible bamboo grows well, which is essential for this craft. Originally, Uchiwa were made in Edo (Tokyo), but after the Great Kanto Earthquake of the Taisho era (1912-1926), craftsmen who found it difficult to do business in Edo moved to the Boshu Uchiwa area, where they could gather materials, and the production of Boshu Uchiwa began.
Boshu Uchiwa for good luck
Uchiwa are also said to blow away evil spirits by creating a breeze when you fan yourself. For this reason, uchiwa are sold at shrines throughout Japan as charms to ward off bad luck. The wind caused by fanning an Uchiwa also has the meaning of invoking the power of the gods and strengthening their presence. Bringing an uchiwa and fanning yourself at Japanese festivals is a summer tradition. The purpose of the fan is, of course, to keep out the heat, but it is also believed to inspire the power of the gods, to exorcise bad luck, and to enliven the festival.
From the moment you hold a Boshu Uchiwa, you can feel that it is different from ordinary Uchiwa. They can be used not only for practical purposes, but also for interior decoration. Please visit Suigenkyo online store to see more of our products.