The meaning of Suehiro, correct usage to keep in mind, and manners to be aware of.
In Japan, a shape that spreads out toward the end is called "suehiro" and is considered to be good luck. For example, the Chinese numeral "8" is an example of the word "suehigawari. Similarly, a fan has long been used as a good-luck talisman, since the shape of a fan spreading out is also a "suehagari" (spreading out). In this issue, we will tell you about "Suehiro (congratulatory fan)," a fan used for celebratory occasions. We will also explain the meaning behind Suehiro, correct usage, and manners for celebrations, so please read on for reference.
Suehiro Meaning and Basics
What kind of accessories does "suehiro" mean? Suehiro is one of the most important accessories for kimono, although it is rarely used in daily life. First, we will explain the meaning behind suehiro, situations in which it is used, basic usage, types of suehiro, and other basic knowledge.
The Meaning of Suehiro
Suehiro" refers to a fan used for festive occasions. The name "Suehiro" comes from the fan's shape, which spreads out toward the end when it is opened. It has an auspicious connotation of gradually opening the way toward a happy future. Suehiro is therefore considered a lucky charm that represents "prosperity," and has been used as a gift or souvenir in addition to celebratory occasions since ancient times. Suehiro is also sometimes called "Shugi Sen" (congratulatory fan).
Occasions when Suehiro is used
Suehiro is mainly used as a kimono accessory when wearing a formal kimono for celebratory occasions. In modern times, it is most often used at weddings.
For example, the black tomesode, the first formal wear for married women, is known as the kimono worn by the mother of the bride and groom at weddings. The shiro-tomesode, an abbreviated formal wear for women, is often worn by the sisters and other relatives of the bride and groom. Suehiro is sometimes used when wearing these black or colored tomesode.
Suehiro may also be used at weddings in conjunction with the men's first formal attire, the kurobane five-piece montsuki (black crested gown). The black montsuki is often worn by the groom, the matchmaker, and the father of the bride and groom. If the wedding attire is kimono, the groom may also carry a suehiro.
Basic Usage of Suehiro
Basically, the suehiro is left inserted in the obi. It is removed from the obi and held in the right hand only when necessary, such as when greeting guests. The suehiro is used to greet people when they are standing or sitting in a formal bow. Holding a suehiro in the hand gives a formal impression appropriate for a festive occasion. For details on how to insert and hold the suehiro, please refer to the following pages.
Types of Suehiro
There are different types of suehiro for women and men.
Women's suehiro generally have black lacquered bones with a gold or silver base paper surface. Some are decorated with gold on the black lacquered part, while others have a white background with gold or silver foil stamped on it. Some of the more casual designs can also be found in the suehiro for women. Suehiro with bones in colors other than black or jigami in colors other than gold or silver can be used with the visiting gown, which is an abbreviated formal wear.
On the other hand, men's suehiro include "hakusen (white fan)" with a white ground paper used for the bamboo frame. Among the white fans, there is also a "morning fan" that can easily be used with a morning coat, which is formal men's formal attire, and can be used with both Japanese and Western-style attire.
Correct way to insert and hold Suehiro
When using suehiro at weddings and other celebratory events, it is important to keep in mind the correct way to insert and hold the suehiro. Here we introduce in detail how to use suehiro, a must-have item for celebrations.
Correct way to insert a suehiro
When inserting a suehiro into a woman's kimono, with the fan open side up, insert it between the obi and obiage with the paper side facing you. It is best to insert the fan on the left side of the body so that the tip of the fan protrudes 2 to 3 cm from the obi. In the case of men's kimono, the suehiro should be inserted between the kimono and the square obi. As with women's kimono, it should be placed on the left side of the body. The key is to insert it so that the base paper can be seen.
How to hold Suehiro correctly
When holding the suehiro, first hold the base of the suehiro with your right hand and place your index finger on the outer bone. It is best to hold it as if you are wrapping it with all four fingers except the index finger. Then, place your left hand under the suehiro and hold it in front of the obi at the level of your navel. When using the suehiro as a greeting, holding it in this manner makes your gesture look beautiful and gives a formal impression. When attending a wedding in kimono, you will have opportunities to hold the suehiro in various greeting situations at the ceremony, so it is a good idea to learn the correct way to hold it.
Actions to avoid when using the suehiro
We have already told you how to use a suehiro, but there are some points to keep in mind when using a suehiro at a festive occasion. What you should avoid when using a suehiro is the act of spreading the fan out and fanning it.
Since a suehiro is a fan used to greet people at festive occasions, using it as a tool to cool off is a breach of etiquette. The use of a suehiro has the meaning of showing courtesy to the other party during a ceremony. Since it is a small item to be worn ceremoniously as part of a formal attire, please be careful not to use it in ways that deviate from its original intended use.
A fan used with yukata to keep cool is generally called a "natsuzenzu. Even though they are the same fan, the purpose of using a summer fan and a suehiro is completely different. If you are looking for kimono accessories in preparation for a celebration, please select a fan that suits your purpose.
Let's convey your feelings of congratulations with Suehiro, which is imbued with the meaning of congratulations!
We have described "Suehiro," a fan used for celebratory occasions, from the meaning of the word to how to use it. Suehiro" is a lucky charm with a congratulatory meaning because its shape, which spreads out toward the end, reminds us of prosperity. It has been used for celebratory occasions since ancient times, and even today it is an indispensable item for weddings and other festive ceremonies. It is very beautiful to hold a suehiro in one's hand when greeting people in kimono, and it is an item that gives a more formal impression to a formal kimono attire.
Ibasen, a specialty store, offers Suehiro (congratulatory fan) for use at festive occasions. Suehiro can be rented along with formal kimono, but we also recommend that you purchase your own. A fan is an auspicious item that is sometimes chosen as a gift as a memento, and suehiro is one of our most popular items as it will be a memory of your loved one's wedding. If you are looking for a suehiro recommended for formal kimono, please feel free to contact us at Ibasen.
Ibasen is a long-established company with a 400-year history. In addition to Suehiro, we have many other fans and uchiwa fans, including Edo fans and decorative fans, and as a specialty store, we can guide you in choosing the right one for the right occasion. Our fans are made with the finest materials and handcrafted by our artisans, and are sure to be used for a long time to come. If you are looking for high-quality suehiro, please visit Ijasen's convenient online store.