War fan Gunbai Uchiwa


Edo period, 19th century 

Wood with maki-e lacquer decorations

Length: 53,5 cm

The various implements used by samurai commanders to signal orders on the battered field or to direct troop movements were referred to as jineigu. Among them, the gunbai uchiwa, a fixed fan, was the equipment that was used by generals and daimyō and hence became a symbol of power.
This gunbai is rather unusual among the common shapes. The straight lines and the absence of wide maki-e areas give in fact a sort of severe aspect, while the grain wood and the finely lacquered borders indicate the refined taste of the owner. The brass rivets united by straight lines are probably representing constellations, a common design on samurai war fans.

On this page is a comprehensive glossary of common terms related to samurai armor.



Inventory Nr: 1444

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