mi-sun (Flat Fan)

About this object

History of use

Such fans were made by masters organized into guilds. They were used by people of any class, and of any age. Boys and girls, men and women all used them, although they were used more by women than men. Special small ones were made for children. Members of the official “Yangban” class also used folding fans, as did some women.
The bird and flower design in the paper cut is evidence for the fact that the fan was made in Tongyung. The guild there was well-known for the fans it made. Fans of this kind became popular after the 16th century, when Admiral Lee, Soon-shin, who fought against the Japanese, made such fans. Fans of this type are still made and used at present.


This fan was made in Tongyung, a city in southern Korea.

Physical description

A flat rectangular fan with two lobes at the top. Main colour is green mottled with yellow. Frame is of many very fine ribs of split bamboo (?) with paper on each side which is lacquered. Straight, black-painted, wooden handle is split and spread to allow insertion of the fan. Fan is painted orange around the handle. Around the orange area, there is a black paper cut on each side of the fan which is also lacquered. Fan is edged in dark green.