Rare 19th Century Maki Uchiwa Japanese Roll Up Fan


Rare Japanese maki uchiwa roll-up fan made of a tinted bamboo handle and a woodblock printed paper leaf. The fan screen pivets and can be rolled up to enable the owner to carry it inside a belt.



Origin: Japan

Date: 1840-1890

This very rare Japanese maki uchiwa (roll up) fan was almost certainly made for the domestic Japanese market, rather than for export, which would explain why they are so seldom found in Western fan collections. Only one example is known in the literature (see below) and very few are in Museum collections. The screen pivets in the centre, so it can be rolled up and carried inside the obi (帯 – Japanese belt).

The fan is made of a bamboo handle that is tinted to resemble tortoiseshell and a round leaf constructed of bamboo and rice paper. The front shows a woodblock print of a large Ojime ( (緒締め, lit. “cord fastener”)  with chrysanthemums – the Imperial flower. The reverse shows a boat on a lake. The fan still retains its original cotton tie.

Length: 15″ (38 cm) Width: 9″ (22.5cm)

Condition: Good condition with a small restoration (see last photo) and minor wear around the edge commensurate with age and the materials used.


Salwey, C.M., 1894. Fans of the Japan. Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., London  (Fig. 12) – reproduced in Hutt, J. & H. Alexander, 1992. Ogi – A History of the Japanese Fan. Dauphin Published Limited, London (p. 24)