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Ogi, Japanese Traditional Folding Fans

In this hot season, Ogi (扇) is an indispensable item for Kimono (着物) fashion. Even in a comfortable air-conditioned room, ladies using Ogi are very refreshing and picturesque.

In Japan, Ogi is used for two different purposes: 1) to create airflow by waving back and forth, and 2) to be used as a decorative tool for rituals, ceremonies and performing arts.

The Japanese term “Kanjin-Kaname (肝心要)” means the most important point of matters. This term is originated from the one particular part of Ogi called Kaname (要), which bundles all bones of the fan made of narrow bamboo or wood. If the Kaname is broken, the fan loses its shape and will be destroyed.

Long time ago when I was a Maiko (舞妓), I was corrected by my Onesan (お姉さん, mentor Geiko) in how to use Ogi. At that time I was carelessly using Ogi with big stroke just like the way I use Uchiwa (団扇, round paper fan for casual use). She said “Ogi is not to flap, but to use just like scooping the air. Be elegant by gently sending airflow toward yourself. That’s the way Maiko and Geiko use Ogi, and it gives refreshing and comfortable impression to our customers”.

Sweet scent from Ogi made of aromatic woods such as Byakudan (白檀, sandal wood) produces your tranquil time of a Japanese tradition. How graceful…


Click here to see a Blog by a Former Maiko, “Do You Know?”

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