Mai-ogi (folding fan used in a Japanese dance) (舞扇)

A mai-ogi is a folding fan used in Japanese dances. Materials of a mai-ogi are the same as materials of a regular folding fan, and a mai-ogi consists of 10 sticks made of bones, bamboo, or wood, and folding-fan paper. At the same time, the pivot of a mai-ogi has a lead weight so that a dancer can easily handle the fan when he or she throws it or does 'kaname-gaeshi,' a technique in which a dancer holds a fan with his or her fingers and turns it. Additionally, the outer two ribs of a mai-ogi are bound to fan paper with thread after they are stuck to each other with glue in order to improve the durability of the mai-ogi.

The face of a mai-ogi is sometimes solid-colored, and some mai-ogi have a family crest of each school on it. While in a performance, performers use mai-ogi on which pictures coming from the performed play are painted. Some mai-ogi patterns or pictures have some meanings; for example, the design of a mai-ogi represents its owner's current achievement of dance studying at the Inoue school.

Mai-ogi are not always used in Japanese dances, and some Japanese dance programs need other types of folding fans such as chukei (ceremonial folding fans) and gunsen (fans used by ancient commanders).

[Original Japanese]