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About the Promotion Video for "Kyosendo"

The video "~京都伝統の技~京扇子 The Art of Kyoto's Craftsmanship -Kyoto Folding Fan-" by Lively Kyoto, is a video introducing the work of the long-established "Kyosendo" that has continued to make Kyosensu for 180 years.

The video is about 5 minutes long, and we recommend it to those who:
・ Are interested in how the traditional Japanese craft Kyosensu is made
・ Want to know more about the history of the traditional Japanese handicraft "Kyosensu!

In this article, we will explain what a Kyosensu (Kyoto fan) is like, and explain the 21 processes of making a Kyoto fan alongside the video.
Kyoto's traditional craft Kyosensu, is used not only as a beautiful ornament, but also as a practical product. And it has recently attracted the attention of many foreigners.
In addition to traditional decorative and dancing fans, modern products are also produced.

The Traditional Japanese Craft Kyosensu Has Been Around Since the Heian Period

The traditional Japanese handicraft, Kyosensu, is a folding fan made by craftsmen in Kyoto using raw materials and local fabrics from the suburbs of Kyoto.
It is said that the origin of the Kyoto folding fan dates back to the Heian period (794 AD to 1185 AD).
In other words, it is a traditional Japanese craft with a history of over 1000 years.
You cannot sell fans as Kyosensu unless you have joined the Kyoto Folding Fan cooperative.

There are many areas in Japan that make fans as traditional crafts.
In addition to Kyoto fans, there are Nagoya fans, Edo fans and Omi fans.

Unlike other traditional handicraft fans, the Kyoto fan has been used ritually as a symbol of aristocrats, rather than for the purpose of cooling off in the summer.
Lacquerware, gold, and silver leaf are traded at high prices as fine arts and artworks.

Kyosendo: A History of More Than 180 Years

The long-established “Kyosendo” featured in the video is a studio that was established in 1832 and conveys the traditional skills of Kyoto.
It has a Kyoto head office in Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, and produces and sells folding fans.
The Kyoto folding fan is produced by the 21 processes described below.
Everything is handmade and of very high quality.

[Fan manufacturing and frame making]
1. Cutting bamboo
2. Splitting bamboo
3. Carving the ribs
4. Drilling
5. Shaping
6. Sundrying
7. Polish
8. Fitting the rivet
9. Paper processing

[Ground paper processing]
10. Fitting
11. Drying
12. Cutting

13. Gold tooling
14. Painting (hand-painted)
15. Woodcut printing

[Fold processing]
16. Fold
17. Inset
18. Cutting to Shape
19. Bonding
20. Vising
21. Attaching the sideguards


The video also shows a part of the process for making a fan.
At 0:16, the printed figures that are hand-painted one by one on Japanese paper with a brush, are shown.
From 1:27, the folding process of folding Japanese paper into bellows is introduced.
After cutting the top and bottom, they make a space to insert the bone into the washi paper, blow into the hole to expand the space, and insert the glued bone.

From 4:21, you can see a variety of colorful Kyoto fans.
Kyosendo also offers a fan painting experience class, so you can make your own folding fan.

Products and Prices of Kyoto Fans

Image of Kyoto folding fan
Photo:Kyoto folding fan

In addition to Kyosensu, Kyosendo shops include "Inoguchi Shojudo," "Hkuchikudo," "Onishi Tsune Shoten," "Kinkodo," and "Miyawaki Meisouan."

The types of folding fans include traditional Japanese folding fans, such as the “Mai Folding Fan” used in Japanese dance, the "Shimaiougi" used in Noh, and the "Tea Fan" used in the tea ceremony.
The casual fan, the elegant fan, the stylish fan, and the "denim fan" that men can use are also very popular.

Prices range from around 1,000 yen (~$10 USD) to more than 40,000 yen (~$400 USD), and there are many types that can be purchased.
These products can also be purchased at department stores in Ginza, and online at Rakuten and Amazon.

Summary of Kyosensu

Image of Woman in yukata
Photo:Woman in yukata

Kyoto's traditional handicraft "Kyosensu" is a small, light and easy-to-carry product that can be easily taken out and enjoyed.

In the video, you can learn about the techniques of the Kyoto folding fan craftsman, as well as see real, beautiful Kyoto folding fans.
If you are interested, be sure to take a look!

Written By
Sep. 15, 2020
I'm a writer who likes to eat good food wherever I go
A Look at the Craftsmanship of the Well-Established
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