Even though we may not have been able to enjoy Tokyo 2020 in the way we had originally intended, we’ve still enjoyed a taste of the Olympic atmosphere and have seen an increase in sports participation across the country.

With the first half of the games over, and the Paralympics drawing to an end, now is the time to collect unique memorabilia before the focus moves on to the next host city.
If you are a fan of traditional Japan, then these Kyo Uchiwa fans from long-established traditional fan manufacturer; Komaruya Sumii, are the perfect gift to commemorate the sporting event.

The traditional round fans feature motifs inspired by popular ukiyo-e woodblock prints, tweaked to include references to modern era sports performed by Edo-era athletes.

Kyo Uchiwa Skateboarding

Imagine there was a skateboarding competition during the Edo era.
The background of this fan reimagines Hokusai’s ‘Bishu Fujimigabara’ as the setting of an Edo era skateboard competition. In the motif, the tub that is being made in the original painting has been replaced with a skateboard halfpipe.

Kyo Uchiwa Surfing

The giant wave in Hokusai’s most famous ukiyo-e woodblock print ‘The great wave off of Kanagawa’ was designed in a way to show the immense power of the sea. At the time, the sheer size of the wave in comparison to the fishermen fighting the tide in the rowboat below would have been a terrifying depiction. But what if surfing was a popular pastime during the Edo era? Would the Ukiyo-e have shown a different scene?
This Kyo Uchiwa features a surfer straight from the Edo era enjoying the wave off of Kanagawa.

Kyo Uchiwa Ball Sports

With so many different types available, ball games and sports find fans from all over the world. This Kyo Uchiwa fan depicts an Edo-era scene of a plethora of ball games, including tennis, volleyball, badminton, basketball and handball. The characters in the scene are even wearing traditional clothing that reflects the uniform worn in the sports today.
Do you think ball sports would be just as popular in Edo-era Japan as they are today?

PR Times

Kyo Uchiwa Weightlifting

During the Edo era, one way for someone to boast about their power was to take part in sumo wrestling. But how could one show off their strength when they were missing an opponent? Perhaps they took part in weightlifting, afterall, if one could lift 200 plus kg above their head then they should be able to tackle a foe head-on.
This Kyo Uchiwa features the legendary Sengoku warrior, Asahina Yoshihide, whose superhuman strength led to him being reborn as a popular Kabuki character.

Kyo Uchiwa Rugby

Perhaps you’ve heard of the traditional Japanese athletic game of Kemari. Popular amongst the aristocrats of the Heian era, the samurai during the Kamakura period and eventually reaching the general public in the Edo era, the objective of this game was to keep a ball in the air for as long as possible (Not too dissimilar to the game of Hacky Sack).
What if, instead of Kemari, the game popularised during the Heian era was rugby. Can you imagine the aristocrats in their traditional clothing trying to score a goal during a game of rugby?

These sports-inspired Kyo Uchiwa are made in Kyoto, and are available to purchase from the official online store or in person from the Kyoto main store. For online orders, shipping will commence from 30 August 2021.

Sports Kyo Uchiwa

Price: 19,800 yen each (tax included)
Size: 27cm (length) x 27.5cm (width)
Materials: bamboo, paper

Komaruya Sumii
Location: 91-54 Enshoji-cho, Okazaki, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 606-8344
Hours:10am – 6pm
*closed on Sundays

By - Connie Sceaphierde.