Marugame, in Kagawa Prefecture, produces a very large percentage of the the uchiwa (round, flat type) style of paper fans in Japan.
Cheap, colorful uchiwa, with advertisements printed on them, are a common sight at summer festivals throughout Japan, but Marugame in Shikoku makes the original high-quality washi paper variety. The other type of fan found in Japan is the delicate folding fan, a different craft, often associated with aristocratic Kyoto.
The uchiwa style of fan seems to have begun as a souvenir for pilgrims making the steep ascent up the hill to nearby Kompira Shrine.
The Uchiwa no Minato Museuem, in the port (minato) area of Marugame, has displays of both historic and modern fans, including some huge examples of the art. The museum also has demonstrations on how they are made.
Uchiwa no Minato Museuem
Kagawa Prefecture 763-0042
Tel: 0877 24 7055
Hours: 9.30am-5pm; closed Monday and December 28- January 3.
|Folding fan type from Kyoto|
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