Question. Did this type fan develop first in Japan or in China? Seems that both countries want to claim the honor.

Wikipedia says: In the 17th century the folding fan, and its attendant semiotic culture, were introduced from Japan. Simpler fans were developed in China, Greece, and Egypt. East Asian (Japanese and Chinese) imports became popular in Europe. These fans are particularly well displayed in the portraits of the high-born women of the era.

I am surprised that they were not from an earlier period. In my browsing google I see one opinion is that the Emperors did painting on folding fans. One of those would have been very high priced. Not mine. Those like mine are cheap enough to be given away as party favors.

These two fans were in memorabilia from Amy. I believe she purchased them in Florida in 1951. Worth nothing monetarily, but I’m a sentimental trivia lover.

The fantastic Miss Phimple was a fancy folding fan fanatic. Five uses of simple words beginning with “fan.” none of which has anything to do with the Latin root, which comes from the Latin word “fanum” which relates to a temple or sanctuary. But it does look a lot like a Medival Latin, “phantasticus.”

So, there, now you know. 😀

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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  1. shoreacres says:

    What wonderful memories you’ve raised. I had some of these folding fans as a kid. Most were paper, but one very small one was done as cutwork. I thought it was ivory, but it probably was some early form of plastic.

    Of course the other kind of fan was the solid rectangular paper one on what looked like a tongue depressor. As I recall, funeral homes often used them for advertising, and they were always present at church services!

    • oneta hayes says:

      Linda, I have a collection of the old mortuary fans to which you are referring. I thought I had written about them but I guess not since WP didn’t catch any. I have just now searched but cannot find a blog with that tag. I know I used them for a subject on a Toastmaster speech. I guess that’s what I am recalling. I’ll pull them out and show pictures sometime.

  2. says:

    Very interesting history lesson today. I remember making a paper fan out of the church bulletin. I know now that mom was trying to keep me occupied so she could listen to the sermon. I thank God that his spirit was working within me during tho

  3. ghostmmnc says:

    Those are really pretty fans. I love folding hand fans, and have a few I’ve found here and there. Some are paper, some are fabric & beaded and embroidered on. I actually use them, too. 🙂

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