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EXTRA-EDITION TIPS | 05/22/2019

Making of "Kuba-fan", Okinawan traditional round fan made of Livistona chinensis

In Okinawa, there are products called Kuba-fan(Kuba-ogi) with surface made of leaves of a Birou (Kuba) (Livistona chinensis.) Today I tried to make that the traditional folk tool.

Kuba is a group of palm trees characterized by strong large radial leaves and hanging leaf tips. In Okinawa, it is a plant often found as street trees and garden trees, but in fact, it is a historical tree that has been used by people since ancient times, and has also been used in priesthood.

Provided by Naha City Historical Museum

The fan made by drying the large leaves of the Kuba tree is one of the major traditional folk implements of Okinawa.
Not only the fan, but also the hat "Kuba-Gasa" in which the leaves are woven into trianglesand, and baskets, etc., are well-known. The durable leaves of Kuba have been used as materials for various tools.
This picture was taken before World War II, A woman has a Kuba-fan.

I got to Kuba leaves growing in the garden of my acquaintance's house. The tree was not very tall, about 2 to 3 meters, but the leaves are of a good size. The branches at the base were thick and strong.

Roughly trimmed the leaves and brought them home. As this will shrink if it is left as it is, extend the fold as much as possible so as to get straight, put it on a plate in a spread state, put a weight on it, and leave it for several days to dry up.

Six days have passed. I checked it once, so I'm worried it might be moldy, but it seems to be alright. At the same time, I will reshape and press again.

It is a very sturdy leaf. Make a cut with a scalpel on the stem and trim it with knife and scissors.

It has gradually become the shape of a fan.

Repress and dry again for several weeks.

One month later, finally finished

It took longer to dry than expected and it took about a month, but it was finally completed. It has changed from green to beautiful brown.

I drilled a hole at the handle so that I could hang it on the wall and put a ring made of Japanese banana plant (Bashou).

When I was a child, stayed at the farmer's grandmother's house, I went to bed and grandmother keep fanning grandchildren gently with the kuba fan until we slept over. It is a memory of a summer night. hold on to the Kuba fan, memories with my grandmother still come back.