Some Japanese women hide their mouths when they laugh as a matter of etiquette or a mannerism corresponding to a certain traditional feminine ideal. It tends to be women of a certain generation who do this regularly but even some young women still do it today. For those who exhibit this kind of mannerism, they do it with their hand, but if they're holding a fan, they may use it instead, like this:

bino | © PIXTA

Mannerisms aside, hiding your mouth with a fan when you laugh or talk could have practical applications as well, and not just for women.

But there's one important catch. It should be a special fan, one like the new line proposed by Miyawaki Baisenan Co., Ltd., 株式会社宮脇賣扇庵, a long-established store of Kyoto-style folding fans.

What's so special about them? By applying a coat of plaster to both sides, the fan apparently takes on antiviral, antibacterial, and deodorant properties.

Antiviral / antibacterial mechanism

Stucco with antiviral and antibacterial functions forms a "porous" layer. Viruses and bacteria enter the coating, where strong alkaline components decompose the proteins of viruses and bacteria, thereby rendering them inactive.

Effective against pet odors and daily odors

Due to the same mechanism, the coating also has a deodorizing effect that adsorbs and decomposes acidic daily odors such as sweat, cigarette odors, and pet odors. It also adsorbs and detoxifies harmful substances such as formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has imposed new lifestyles requiring people to be vigilant by wearing masks and practicing social distance. Miyawaki Baisenan proposes using their fans to hide your mouth during conversations as an additional protective measure or using them to decorate your home in such locations as the entrance or on your desk.

七宝(紳士用・婦人用)Cloisonne (gentlemen's, ladies')

ヒイラギ(紳士用・婦人用)Holly (gentlemen's, ladies')

迷彩(紳士用・婦人用)Camouflage (gentlemen's, ladies')

Product Information

  • Stucco Fan
  • Price: 4,400 JPY (incl. tax)
  • Content: Folding fan + vanity case
  • Format: 25 ribs, shiratake (white bamboo)
  • Sizes: Gentlemen's 22.5 cm (8.9"), Ladies' 19.5 cm (7.7")
  • Material: Bamboo, washi, celluloid
  • Coating: Injket print, stucco
  • Made in Japan

By - Ben K.