DIY Japanese Fan

Appropriate for grades:
Subject areas: Visual and Performing Arts

Uchiwa is a Japanese fan with a rigid structure made of split bamboo and washi paper. These fans are used in festivals and celebrations for the purpose of cooling down during hot summers in Japan. The designs on the fans are made with a variety of techniques such as dyeing, hand painting, printing, paper cutting, and collage. Many classic fans depict summer themes such as water, flowers, and fish. Today, it’s common to see uchiwa made from plastic, featuring characters and figures from pop culture such as anime and yokai characters to music stars. The fan below is a painted image of two yokai called Kappa. With amphibian features and beak-like mouths, kappa are as small as children but very strong.

What makes you think of summer? What will you paint on your fan?


You'll need:

  • 2 sheets of cardstock or cereal box - 12" x 9"
  • 1 large crafts stick (tongue depressor)
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • coloring materials (watercolor, markers, &/or colored pencils)
  • patterned papers (optional)



Download Lesson Plan