I'm a Big Fan.

My latest collectible obsession is a set of 6 キャップオープナー (kyappu opena or cap openers) that came with a Pet-bottle of strong green tea. This particular brand, 濃い味 or koiaji, is made by Itoen. Frankly, these items are not very efficient at opening the bottle, but they are cute.

First up are 手まり or te-mari (handmade balls), but not the type that you play catch with. Temari are these decorative little balls that were originally made from old kimono yet have been made out of paper or rubber more recently. If you're interested, you can learn how to make your own temari.

Then there's the 和傘 or wagasa, a traditional paper umbrella (and no, not the little one you place in your cocktail!) It has a long history and if you want to learn to make your own, scroll down that link to the bottom. It's pretty complicated though!

うちわ or uchiwa are hand-made paper fans. They are more durable than 扇子 (sensu or folding fans) but a little more bulky to carry around. Since I'm completely incompetent at crafts, if you're at all like me, I'd suggest this link to make your own. For the more adept, learn how to make your own uchiwa here but you'll have to scroll down past the history to the bottom for a step-by-step guide.

At various festivals throughout the summer, uchiwa are given out as promotional items, usually made out of plastic emblazened with a brand name. Here are a few in my collection:

Here's an ad for a new Pachinko parlour. New Pachinkos spread like dandelions, so I don't think this fan will be a collectors item.

What appears to be a perfume ad for oshimatsubaki.

I'm not sure where I got this but I got it back in 2002. I suspect I went to a live Masked Rider show and they were handing these out. I love the looks I get when I attend one of these Ultraman/Kamen Rider/etc shows. I'm the only adult in the place that is not accompanied by a child. In this otaku-land, I'm not given a second glance. In N.A. I'd be put on a offender's list.

One thing I like about KFC are their Kid's meal promos. They get some of the better sponsors, such as Wallace & Gromit. This one came out around the time of the Were-rabbit movie.

I had never seen any W&G commercials before. Here's a cute one for pudding:

Surprisingly, I actually have a traditional uchiwa made out of bamboo and washi paper. It's bigger than most and can stir up quite a breeze.

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