Sensu (Folding fan)

Sensu is a hand-held folding fan. The ribs are made of bamboo or sandalwood, and covered with paper or silk. Since it is foldable, it is easy to carry.

When it is folded up, it looks like a stick. When it is opened, it expands large enough to fan oneself. The shape of sensu is considered auspicious because it broadens out towards the end. This shape is associated with spreading prosperity.

Sensu, like uchiwa, is used to fan oneself to keep cool. However, unlike uchiwa, it is used on formal occasions, such as a tea ceremony. It is also an essential prop used by rakugo performers, and traditional Japanese dancers of noh and kabuki.

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Uchiwa (Fan)

Uchiwa is a traditional Japanese fan. It is round and has a long handle. The frame is made of bamboo or plastic, and covered with paper.

Uchiwa is used for fanning oneself to keep cool in summer. It is used for fanning other things, too. For example, when making sushi, it is useful for cooling and removing the moisture from the rice.

Uchiwa are so commonly used that many businesses use them as an advertisement medium. They distribute uchiwa with their names on them for free in the streets, or at festival venues.

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Furin (Wind chime)

In summer, you can see wind chimes hanging from the eaves of houses here and there. A wind chime consists of a bell made of glass, metal, or ceramic; a clapper; and a strip of paper.

You can enjoy the soothing sound it produces when the wind blows. You can notice the wind through the sound of the chime, which evokes a feeling of coolness.

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In Japan, we don’t have a central heating system. Therefore, each home has its own heating devices.

Kotatsu is one of them. Kotatsu is a low table with an electric heater underneath. It is covered with a futon (a thick quilt) in order to keep the warmth in. A person sits on the floor with their legs under the table.

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