Uchiwa (rounded paper fans) have been used in Japan for many centuries. They are made from a thin bamboo frame with decorated paper or silk stretched onto the frame, and used as personal fans. Marugame-uchiwa were first made as souvenirs for pilgrims who came from all over the country to visit Konpira-jinja, a shrine in the city of Marugame, Kagawa Prefecture. The fans are decorated with a gold seal in a circle, and because production was encouraged by the feudal lord who governed this region until around the middle of the 19th century, they became a popular sideline for lower-ranking members of the samurai class. Nowadays Marugame produces around 90% of the uchiwa in Japan. Marugame uchiwa production was designated a traditional craft in 1997.
- Kagawa Prefecture Uchiwa Co-operative Association:Uchiwa-no-Minato Museum 307-15 Minato-machi, Marugame-shi, Kagawa
- [Walk]JR Marugame Stn. / 15-min. walk