Folding Fans for Summer

Folding fans for summer

The temple shop is now offering a variety of seasonally appropriate folding fans, or sensu. The fan above depicts the four mythical creatures which are believed to protect Kyoto in each of the four cardinal directions: the white tiger to the west, the red phoenix to the south, the black turtle to the north, and the blue dragon to the east. These four creatures or gods, called shishin or shijin  (四神) in Japanese, come from Chinese mythology. There are several other fan designs available in the shop that evoke the image of Kyoto and Japan, including a few variations on cherry blossom prints. Summers in Kyoto are awfully hot, it can be good to have a little bit of manual air conditioning available as you explore the city.