Origin : Japan
Made of : wood
Classification : things / shapes
Maker : ?
About "fans" (sensu : foldable fan / uchiwa : not foldable - 扇子) :
Hand fans were invented in China but it seems that the foldable version was a Japanese invention of the 6th or 8th century. In the 16th century, the Portuguese brought it back to Europe where it became very fashionable.
War fans were used as a sign by commanders to give orders to their troops.
During the long hot days of Summer, hand fans are still used a lot in Japan. Disposable ones baring publicity are often given free in the street or in festivals. It is a usual sight to see classes waiting for their train with all the pupils moving their fans at the same time.
Fans are also a very important accessory for geishas and performers, especially for dances.