Monday, April 22, 2024
31 C
Brunei Town

Artistry in cool breezes

THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN – Shibu uchiwa fans, crafted from Japanese washi paper, are among the many traditional Japanese items that provide a refreshing respite during the summer season.

These fans, hailing from the Kutami district in Yamaga, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, feature a surface coated with persimmon tannin, making them highly sought after.

Traditional item, shibu uchiwa fans, at Kurikawa Shoten in Japan. PHOTO: THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN

Fermented for three to five years, the persimmon tannin makes the paper more durable and insect-resistant.

Uchiwa made in this way are a traditional craft that has been handed down in the district for about 400 years. At Kurikawa Shoten, artisans craft uchiwa by hand and complete 150 to 200 fans a day.

This year, the company released a new uchiwa design depicting women clad in yukata, a type of cotton kimono, dancing elegantly and wearing a metal lantern on their head.

The design is based on the theme of the city’s summer festival.

“We want to keep the traditional techniques while incorporating designs that match the times,” said Kyohei Kurikawa the fifth-generation head of the company.