The sender of the Detective Conan postcard also sent this cute handmade card from China! The 扇子 below translate to “hand fan”, which is probably given away by the fact that there’s a fan featured! The history of the hand fan in East Asia dates back to the 3rd century. There are two particular types of fans: rigid fans and folding fans. Folding fans are like the ones you see here; they’re the ones that most people associate with hand fans. Rigid fans are ones that look like paddles – the “leaf-on-a-stick” types. Up until around the 13th century (the end of the Song Dynasty), the rigid fan was the more common one, gradually taken over by the folding fan during the Ming Dynasty thereafter. Fans have been a subject of fashion, visual art, and of course keeping people cool – but as many of you may know, they’ve also been used in traditional Chinese dance. The cool thing about it – among many things – is the role the fan has in the performance. It accentuates the movements. It allows for more appreciation of the choreography. It “extends” the limbs of the dancer. It can serve as a prop (fan dances are often used for storytelling). And it contributes to the overall elegance of the performance. Having seen fan dance performances during my adventures in life, I can attest to their grace! I look forward to them in particular, if I’m like watching a series of Chinese dances (e.g. Shen Yun)! Thanks bunches for the lovely postcard and for your kindness, Yusang!