Tessenjutsu: The Art of Fighting “Japanese” War Fans


In Ancient Japan, fans could cool or kill.

Types of War Fans

Japanese war fan (gunsen) made of iron, bamboo...
Japanese war fan (gunsen) made of iron, bamboo and lacquer depicting the sun (1800-50) on display at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, California. Object ID: F1998.40.25 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Gunsen: folding fans used by the average warriors to cool themselves off. Made of wood, bronze, brass or a similar metal for the inner spokes. Often used thin iron or other metals for the outer spokes or cover, making them lightweight but strong. Warriors hung their fans from the belt or the breastplate.
A typical tessen of the Edo-period (1603-1868)...
A typical tessen of the Edo-period (1603-1868). This weapon is used in tandem with the jutte in some forms of Ikkaku-ryu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Tessen: folding fans with outer spokes made of heavy plates of iron and designed to look like normal, harmless folding fans. Another version came as solid clubs shaped to look like a closed fan. Samurai took them to places where other weapons were not allowed. Also used to fend off arrows and darts.
Japanese (samurai) solid iron signal fan "...
Japanese (samurai) solid iron signal fan “gunbai or gumpai” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Gunbai: large solid open fans made from solid iron, metal with wooden core, or solid wood. Carried by high-ranking samurai officers who used them to ward off arrows, as a sunshade, and to signal to troops.

File:Kumagai Naozane and Taira no Atsumori.jpg

The warriors Kumagai Naozane and Taira no Atsumori fro the Taira clan (Artist Unknown)

Statue of Kato Kiyomasa

 at Nagoya Castle grounds

Nagoya is located in Japan

in Nagoya, Japan on the Island of Honshu

YouTube Video: Pendragon Tessen fan kata

Article Source: < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_war_fan&gt;

Photograph of Kato Kiyomasa source: <http://www.flickr.com/photos/rekishinotabi/3557084910/&gt;

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3 thoughts on “Tessenjutsu: The Art of Fighting “Japanese” War Fans

    1. Thank you, Beverly for visiting my website. So glad that you enjoyed the post on Japanese War Fans. I also find the many aspects of the Samurai quite intriguing. Please visit again and have a fabulous day!

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