Boshu uchiwa fans are known as one of Japan’s top 3 uchiwa brands along with Kyoto uchiwa and Marukame uchiwa. In the Edo period (1603-1868), the production of uchiwa fans started in the Kanto area. Since Boshu (present Tachikawa and Minamiboso in Chiba Prefecture) was a producer of good quality bamboos, bamboos produced in this area were delivered to Edo at that time. It was in the Meiji period (1868-1912) that the production of uchiwa fans started in Boshu.
The distinctive features of Boshu uchiwa are the use of a round-shaped trunk of a thin bamboo for its handle called Maru-e and a beautiful lattice pattern made by thinly split bamboo. The upper part of a Madake bamboo trunk is split into 48-64 equal parts to make ribs. These ribs are then tied together with threads to make a lattice pattern frame that connects the handle, the lower part of the trunk. Lastly, washi paper or cloth is pasted onto the ribs.
Before traditional patterns such as Bijin-ga and Ukiyo-e were usually used for Boshu Uchiwa, but nowadays a wide range of patterns including folk and contemporary arts are also used.
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