Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Chūkei Fan

Edo period (1615–1868)
19th century
Ink, color, and gold leaf on paper; bamboo and lacquer
13 1/4 × 19 in. (33.7 × 48.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Thomas Hunt, 1942
Accession Number:
Not on view
An important accessory of Noh actors is the chūkei fan. In the refined and simplified performances, the fan plays an important role in delineating character. Differentiations in fans include the design, the colors of the ground and the color of the lacquer on the bamboo frame, depending on the particular role being performed. Each side of this fan has a different design, which is richly painted on gold-leafed paper. Cherry blossoms and pine are depicted on one side, and the Queen of the West and the King of the East from Chinese legend appear on the reverse. This kind of chūkei fan is appropriate for a female role.
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