Japanese Fan

Grade 1st (but any grade can be appropriate)

Art 207-05, Group 5

Adrienne Sulger, Robert Bowers Jr., Rose Lenhardt, & Carolyn Havens





The students will learn the history and culture of Japanese Fans.

The students will learn the purpose of Japanese Fans (and fans in general).

The students will learn the technique of using watercolors.

The students will learn the subject matter of nature.

The students will learn different brush strokes (short and long).


Student Material:


12 x 18 inch whit paper


Watercolor paint brushes



Popsicle sticks



Containers (for water)


Teacher Materials:


Previous student artwork

Pictures of Japanese fans ( http://www.japaneseculture.about.com )




Watercolors, brush strokes (short and long), round fan, screen fan




1.     Introduction- discuss use of fans (functional use, artistic use and history).

2.     Fold paper in half horizontally.

3.     On the folded side draw half of a fan shape and cut. (The piece should resemble

the shape of a rainbow).

4.     Draw a simple sketch of nature: flowers, trees, birdsc

5.     Fold the paper back and forth, creasing each time. Then lay out paper flat onto table.

6.          Using watercolors, make bold brush strokes. Use several colors to paint with the seasons. Let dry.

7.          Once dry, gather the paper together to form the fan. Staple the bottom with Popsicles sticks inserted in the bottom.

8.     Tape the Popsicles sticks together to form the handle.

9.     Closure- Clean up, hang projects on wall and discussed what children learned.


Suggestions and/or Comments:


- Source of Lesson Plan: ( http://www.kinderart.com/multic/japfan/.shtml )

- History of the Japanese Fan:


1.      Japan is the homeland of the modern folding fan.

2.      Early Japanese fans were of two types: round fan and the screen fan.

3.      The latter was any rigid fan which could be conveniently held in the hand.

4.      It was traditionally made of feathers and silk stretched over a round or oval frame.


5.      The ceremonial fan differed essentially in that it was of a larger size, and was mounted on a long pole and used by attendants in the ceremonial entourage of high officials at important functions or processions.


6.      Originally, only the emperor was permitted to use the fans though, in time, it was used by all levels of the court aristocracy.


7.        The fan face was painted with bright colors with carefully prescribed designs of pines, chrysanthemums, plum or cherry blossoms and sometimes, birds on a white ground surrounded by stylish clouds in gold and silver, variously outlined in red, blue, and green and purple.


8.      The fan became firmly established in Japan as an essential item or daily use during the hot summer months through all levels of society.