Folding Hand Fans (Sensu)

The hand-held fan has been used in the Orient since ancient times as a means of creating a breeze and was inspired by the shape of leaves or that of a bird's wing. Already in use in Japan in the 7th century, the portable folding fan is a homegrown handcrafted item. The earliest versions, hinoki fans, were made of thin slats of cypress hinoki wood that were stacked and bound. Later, paper fans were made by pasting paper to a skeleton of split bamboo. Folding fans were exported to China in the 13th century. Later, the fashion migrated to Europe. It is said that there were many fan-making artisans in Madrid and Paris.