Basic knowledge of congratulatory fans|Main types, correct usage, and 6 popular congratulatory fans

Fans have long been considered lucky charms in Japan and have been used on festive occasions. At weddings and other celebratory occasions, fans called "shugi-sen" (congratulatory fans) are used as accessories. If you are wearing a formal kimono, please prepare a congratulatory fan as well. This article describes the characteristics of the shugi fan, its differences from ordinary fans, and the etiquette for using it on festive occasions. In addition, we also introduce the congratulatory fans recommended by Ibasen, a long-established company that handles a wide variety of fans, so we hope you will find them useful in your preparations for the celebration.

Celebration Fan Basics

What kind of fan is a "congratulatory fan" and on what kinds of occasions is it used? First, we will explain the characteristics and types of fans. If you are looking for a fan to be used for celebratory occasions, please refer to this page.

What is a congratulatory fan?

Shugi-fan is a rather small-sized fan for formal wear used for celebratory occasions. It can be read as "Shugi Sen" or "Shugi Ougi. Shugi-fan is also sometimes called "Shugi-sensu" or "Suehiro.


There is a big difference in usage between a congratulatory fan and an ordinary fan (i.e., a summer fan). In the case of summer fans, the main purpose is to spread the surface of the fan and fan it to keep cool. On the other hand, a congratulatory fan is inserted into the obi or held in the hand at ceremonial occasions, but the fan is not spread out and fanned. Basically, it is used with the fan closed. Please read on for a detailed explanation of how to use the congratulatory fan, which is described below.


The reason why the congratulatory fan is used at festive occasions is because of its shape of spreading out, which is considered auspicious. The gradually spreading shape of the fan has long been used as a good-luck talisman, with meanings such as "prosperity. Even today, fans are used at weddings and other festive occasions.

Types of Congratulatory Fans

Congratulatory fans are mainly divided into two types: for women and for men. Each has a different design, so choose the one that best suits your purpose.


  • For Women

Most women's congratulatory fans are designed with gold or silver base paper and black lacquered bones. They are mainly used with formal kimono worn at weddings and other ceremonies. Specific examples include black tomesode, which is the first formal wear for married women, as well as colored tomesode and visiting kimono, which are abbreviated formal wear. There are also congratulatory fans made of white or maki-e lacquered bones for women. These fans are often designed to be worn with kimonos other than Kuro-tomesode.


  • For Men

Men's congratulatory fans are generally of a simple design with a white ground paper on a bamboo bone. This is called a "white fan (hakusen). In Japanese dress, the white fan is matched with the first formal attire, the black hanabutae five-piece montsuki (black crested coat of arms). It is also possible to select a white fan (morning fan) for Western-style clothing and match it with a morning coat, which is the formal formal attire. Men's congratulatory fans for men can be used with both Japanese and Western-style clothing.

How to use a congratulatory fan

If you are wearing a formal kimono for a wedding or other festive occasion, you should also have a congratulatory fan. Here, we introduce the proper way to use a congratulatory fan. Please keep the following points in mind when using a congratulatory fan at a celebration.

Basic Usage

In the case of a woman's kimono, the fan should be inserted on the left breast side of the obi, with the main point of the fan down and slightly tilted. The key to this is to insert the fan between the obi and obiage, with the tip of the fan about 2-3 cm from the obi. Also, the paper side should face the front. Basically, leave it in this state and take it out for use as needed.


In men's kimonos, the fan (white fan) is held in the right hand. If you want to open your hand, the place to insert the fan is inside the hakama, between the square belt and the kimono. The fan should be placed on the left side of the chest, with the main point of the fan down and slightly tilted so that the base of the fan can be seen.

It is considered bad manners to use a congratulatory fan to cool off. Please be careful not to use a fan spread out like a summer fan.

How to use a fan during a standing ceremony

At weddings and other festive occasions, there are occasions when people greet each other with a standing bow. A congratulatory fan is held in the hand and used during such greetings. Even when used in greeting, the congratulatory fan is used in the closed position, so please be careful not to open it. The key to holding the congratulatory fan in greeting is to hold it with the right hand so that the outer rib is at the top, and the left hand is attached from the bottom. The standard height for holding a congratulatory fan is about where the fan is in front of the navel.

How to Use a Seated Ceremony Fan

When performing the zarei (seated bow), the celebratory fan is placed in front of the knees in an upright position with the fan closed, and the bow is made. A typical example of a situation in which a fan is used in this way during the zarei is the tea fan used for greetings at a tea ceremony tea ceremony. On the other hand, in many recent weddings, chairs are provided at the venue, so there are few opportunities to use a congratulatory fan in a zarei ceremony.

Special Usage

Shugi fans are generally used without being unfolded, but as an exception, they may be unfolded when used as a stand on which to place an object. In such cases, the congratulatory gift or other item is placed on the opened fan.

Noshibukuro and tea fan

Established in Tensho 18|Ijasen, a long-established shop of folding fans with a rich history

This fan gives a cool and chic impression. Because of its air volume, it will be useful in many situations during the hot season. It is also a perfect item to take with you when you go out in yukata (light cotton kimono).

What is Ijasen?

Ibasen is a long-established manufacturer of fans, folding fans, and Japanese paper products with a history of over 430 years. Our high-end fans are made of carefully selected domestic bamboo and Japanese paper and crafted by skilled artisans. Since the mid-Edo period, we have been transmitting the culture of the good old days in Nihonbashi. The charm of our products is that we have a large selection of fans, from Edo fans with traditional techniques to hand-wiped fans with attractive traditional designs. We hope you will find our high-class fans useful as a cool fashion item and as a gift for your loved ones in various gift-giving occasions.

Characteristics of Ijasen's fans

Ibasen incorporates Edo culture into the design and color of its fans. This is because we want to inherit the good old traditional Japanese culture and Edo culture through our products. As a publisher of ukiyoe prints, Ibasen has been producing products featuring the works of popular ukiyoe artists such as Hiroshige Utagawa and Kuniyoshi Utagawa. Even today, Ibasen continues to produce ukiyo-e Edo fans in addition to traditional patterns and hanji-mono. Please take a look at Ibasen's fans, which convey the humor, rebellious spirit, and chic spirit typical of the Edo people.

Prepare a congratulatory fan for a festive kimono.

So far, we have explained the characteristics and usage of the shugi fan. Shugi-fan is a fan for formal wear used at festive occasions. Women's fans are made of gold or silver base paper with black lacquered bones, while men's fans are mainly white fans with white base paper on a bamboo frame. At weddings and other celebratory events, fans are usually inserted into the obi of a kimono and held in the hand when performing tachigayo (standing posture).


Since the usage of a fan is different from that of a summer fan for everyday use, please check it before attending a celebration. While you can rent a formal kimono, we recommend that you bring your own fan for good luck. Please consult with Ibasen, a long-established shop, when choosing a fan appropriate for your celebration.