Friday, February 16, 2007

Another purpose of sensu, paper fun

sensu, paper fun, Kyoto
Sensu, paper fun, is indispensable to tea ceremony.

Paper fun is functionally used to make wind and the heat mild. But it is used in another purpose in tea ceremony.

It is put in front of users to look up to the others. For example, when we bow, we put a paper fun in front of us in tea ceremony. When we look at tea tools or tokonoma to appreciate it, we put the fun in front of us.

Putting paper fun between us and things makes the border and the other side of the border means sacred space. It is the same as shimenawa in shrine and sacred gate in shrine, Torii.



At 2/21/2007 1:25 AM, Blogger Chuckeroon said...

Nice to visit you. I was fortunate to visit Japan in late 1980's. I remember having the tea ceremony in the "traditional" hotel out in the countryside.

At 3/05/2009 12:31 AM, Blogger Christopher said...

When studying intimate ceremonial arrangement of objects in alcove display near Tokyo, my understanding of the fan was as replacement for the sword which could not be brought into the tearoom.

My speculation was that not everyone could carry swords in the Edo era (nor anyone in later Meiji), but everyone could present a fan when bowing before an alcove arrangement prior to ritually discplined viewing. The neutral oewnership of a sensu (folding fan) extended to women as well as classes-- perhaps encouraging the feeling of equality among participants (consistent with tea ceremony etiquette).

I don't know much, but the fan does represent a blade symbolicly in some ceremonial approaches to hondoko/wakidoko (genuine & accessory space) alcove arrangement.


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