Cultural Heritage Photography: The Range

December 8, 2021
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in Lifestyle
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Cultural Heritage Photography: The Range

When we talk about cultural heritage photography, it’s not just about photos of monuments and great sites in a country. It can also concern the different accessories that are inseparable from the culture of a country.
The fan, for example, is Japan’s most traditional accessory. It is not uncommon to find tourists returning from Japan who bring in their luggage one or more fans. In fact, the fan is more than an object to cool off in the land of the Rising Sun. That’s why he always appears in photos with Japanese women.

Fan, the most traditional accessory in Japan

The first Japanese fan was born in the seventh century. It was invented by a peasant who was inspired by the wings of a bat. Thus, it is therefore a folding or sensual fan that can bend and unfold in a single gesture. During the Heian period, the fan was mostly used by men and women of the high court. Hence it is frequently seen in photos that present the image of noble people.
And during the same period, it was also a fundamental accessory in traditional Japanese art, especially in theater, narrative art, and traditional dance. That’s why he is often seen held in the hand by actors, narrators and dancers in the photos. It was only during the Edo period that the use of the fan was democratized. It is spreading to all other social classes and foreign countries.

The main types of Japanese fans

Thanks to cultural heritage photography, it is possible to know and recognize the different types of Japanese fans. Among others, there is the ushiwa fan which is composed of a handle and a screen made of paper or fixed fabric. Then there is the sensu or ogi fan which is a foldable model made of bamboo covered with Japanese paper.
There is also the gunsen fan, a model equipped with a steel mount and used especially by the warlord in the Middle Ages to transmit orders during major battles.
It should be noted that the fan has become a very popular accessory nowadays, especially during the summer and during periods of high heat. The sensu range, in particular, has been able to modernize and diversify over the years. You can find on the Internet folding fans made of cherry wood, plastic, bamboo with bohemian patterns illustrated by pretty photos.

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