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There are five different styles and schools (called Nougaku-goryu) in Noh performance, the oldest Japanese form of drama, and each school uses its own distinct type of fans, which differ in framework shape and engravings. The paintings on fans also vary according to the Noh school: Kanzemizu (flowing water) is for the Kanze school, Mitsugumo (three clouds) for the Kita school, Itsutsugumo (five clouds) for the Houshou school, Gosei (five stars) for the Konparu school, and Kuyousei (nine stars) for the Kongou school.
Used in Japanese traditional dance performances. Mai-sen take several different forms: Ryugi-mono (Featuring the symbol of each dance school). Muryu (No symbol printed, so usable by all schools.) Butai-mono (Used in stage performances, with the design depending on the program of dance and music to be performed.)
This kind of fan is generally about 23 cm in size for the men’s version, with a smaller type for women, usually about 20 cm across. A great variety of Natsu-sen have developed over the years: some have curved main frameworks to go well with kimono, or are made by pasting silk on a framework instead of paper, or by pasting washi (Japanese traditional paper) and silk together on the framework.
These fans are made of sandalwood, and keep their unique fragrance of sandalwood for a long time. This fan is usually made by binding thin plates of sandalwood with strings in the same way as the hi-ougi (described below), or by pasting washi on a sandalwood framework.
A fan for taking to the tea ceremony. The size is generally about 15 cm for women and about 18 cm across for men. Decorated with a variety of designs, including passages quoted from the 100 poems about the rules of preparing and serving tea by Rikyu, the founder of the Japanese tea ceremony; emblems of the Sen-ke school, founded by Rikyu, or symbols of flowers and sweets suitable for the tea ceremony.
Shikifuku-sen (for formal ceremonies)
Shu-u-gi-sen fans are formally exchanged between a man and woman at meetings with a view to marriage, or used in wedding ceremonies. There are two types of Shu-u-gi-sen for men: a traditional hoso-hone Haku-sen type (thin-framework white fan), and a type for use with Western dress suits. Mourning fans are dark gray with a black-colored framework and are used only at funerals.
Kazari-sen (Decorative fans)
Decorating your alcove or wall with this type of fan creates a distinctly Japanese mood. Fans with India-ink paintings or drawings make very good gifts.
Hi-ougi (traditional ceremony fans)
Made by binding thin strips of Japanese cypress with silk strings. A very classical Japanese fan, now mainly used in Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, or in traditional ceremonies at the Imperial Court. The hi-ougi for Buddhist or Shinto priests is not decorated with paintings and has no accessories, but those for court ladies or used in the Urayashi-mai (Japanese traditional court dances) are very richly colorful and have accessories, such as decorative flowers and five-color fringes.
Chukei, Bonbori and Onatsu-sen
Ceremonial fans for monks. The chu-u-kei is a fan whose head part is wider than its grip part when folded. A bonbori is a simplified form of chu-u-kei and is mainly used by Buddhist missionaries. The onatsu-sen was designed as a daily-use fan and its head part is unfolded to only about half the size of a chu-u-kei.
Mame-sen for dolls
Fans for dolls. The size is between about 3 – 9 cm. Selectable according to the type of doll.
Fan painting class
Essay senseful stories
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