Noh theatre fan of Chinese shape
Edo period (1615-1867), 19th century
Length: 48 cm
Lacquered wood and painted silk
Fans of this type are used in Japanese Noh theatre representations by some characters like Kantan-Otoko or in few specific plays. The red lacquer and the old Chinese style of the fan are not found elsewhere on Japanese non-foldable fans (uchiwa), which are generally smaller and do not have the central wooden support. This kind of design is, in fact, Chinese and can be found in Japan only on gunbai-uchiwa, the fan used by generals to guide the troops, made with this shape but built in solid wood or iron.
The decoration on the transparent silk shows two large ho-o, the mythological bird of East Asia that reigns over all other birds. The ho-o has very positive connotations: it is a symbol of high virtue and grace and represents the Japanese imperial house.
Fan for sale. Price on application. Please include item stock number: alt-992