Uchiwa no Minato Fan Museum
Marugame Uchiwa Fans: Enjoy a cool breeze with this traditional craft
Marugame Uchiwa Fans date back to early in the Edo period, when these distinctive fans were first made as souvenirs for pilgrims who came to Kotohiragu Shrine (Konpirasan). They typically had the character for “gold” inscribed on them, which is the first Chinese character in the name of Kotohiragu Shrine. The stamping of the gold mark on the fan was both a reminder of the name of the place one had visited and also seen as bringing good fortune to the receiver.
Marugame Uchiwa Fans now account for 90% of all fans produced in Japan, and over one billion are made each year. In 1997 the Japanese government officially recognized them as traditional craft products.
The process of making them is complex, with forty-seven separate steps involved, and the craftspeople mostly perform these by hand. Throughout the history of making the fans, many distinctive shapes were invented, not only for the purpose of cooling oneself in the summer but also for cooling food, starting fires, swatting insects, and as fashion statements and decorations. This tradition continues to evolve today, connecting the past with the present.
Please see the Marugame Uchiwa Fans website for further information on these lovely fans. You can design your own fan in a fan-making experience. For details, visit the website: https://marugameuchiwa.jp
At the Uchiwa no Minato Fan Museum, you can watch a craftsperson demonstrate the skills and techniques used to create uchiwa fans. The uchiwa fan making activity is also very popular—you can choose the paper you like and make your very own one-of-a-kind uchiwa fan to take home as a souvenir!
Uchiwa fans, which are made by splitting one stick of bamboo into strips, produce a gentle, yet abundant breeze.
If you are interested in the uchiwa fan making activity and will be participating alone, you can sign up the same day, although making a reservation is recommended. You can also make your own uchiwa fan at the Uchiwa Fan Workshop "TAKE", located inside the tourist information center at Marugame Castle.
- Cultural Experieces
|Open||9:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
(last entry 4:30 p.m.)
(if national holiday, then closed the following day instead),
New Year's holidays (Dec. 29–Jan. 3)
(Fan-making: ¥800 per fan)
|Parking||Free (accommodates large buses)|