せんす【扇子】、うちわ【団扇】、せんぷうき【扇風機】、かんきせん【換気扇】、てんじょうせん【天井扇】、ファン

1. せんす【扇子】
2. うちわ【団扇】
3. せんぷうき【扇風機】
4. かんきせん【換気扇】
5. てんじょうせんかいせん【天井旋回扇】
6. (自動車)ファン
7. ファン(人)


There are far too many types of fans to list here, so only the most common (and potentially confusing) are listed. Senses 1 and 2 are hand-held fans, 3 - 6 are electric fans, and 7 is a person (i.e., fanatic). The suffix 扇 /sen/ is used fairly freely for a variety of electric fans.

To learn more about fans, go to the 日本扇面協会 site or theAmerican Fan Collectors Association Website. If you click Info and scroll down to Reference, there is a link to a dictionary of terms.


1. せんす【扇子】

■ folding fan

It is said that 扇子 were common in olden times not only to cool down, but because bathing was not a regular custom. 扇子 have been around since at least the ninth century.

To learn more about 扇子, see 扇子

See AICHI VOICE (TPO), the Autumn 1999 edition, for cultural information on 扇子。
See Folding Fan: 1028 - Autograph for a collection.


2. うちわ【団扇】

■ round fan

Ninety percent of the Japanese production of 団扇 is from Kagawa Prefecture. See Kagawa - Our Prefecture's Profile.

団扇 have been around since at least the eighth century and are a cultural import from China.

For more information on 団扇, see Traditional Crafts.
To see how to make an 団扇, see uchiwa.


3. せんぷうき【扇風機】

■ electric fan Although senses 4 - 6 are also electric, this type is most commonly called an electric fan. It is the type that you use in the summer to cool off, and that is generally portable. Rotating 扇風機 are called oscillating fans. Oscillation is referred to as 首振り or 回転。

扇風機 can be wall fans 壁掛け扇, desk fans or stand(ing) fans スタンド扇。 See Topulai Enterprise Corp. for these types. See also Metropolitan Ent.,(HK) Co for box fans.

Click electric fan() to see a non-oscillating fan.
Click http://www.inh.co.jp/~abc/hinmoku/view/kojyosen.jpg for an example of an industrial fan for factories, called 工場扇。

A Sanyo EF-30CHX 扇風機. The head portion can be
set both to rotate left and right and to tip up and down.

The control panel of the EF-30CHX 扇風機.
The user can choose the speed of the blades and
the direction of the head's rotation. It is also
possible to set the fan to turn off automatically
after one, two, or four hours. The lower part of the
of the control panel is a removable remote control.


4. かんきせん【換気扇】

■ exhaust or ventilation fan

It is easy to mix up 扇風機 and 換気扇, but they are very different. A 換気扇 is the type used in the kitchen or bathroom to let the air out. For a diagram of a 換気扇 plus some modern versions, see 換気扇

A restaurant's 換気扇. Photograph by Paul Flint, November 2000.


5. てんじょうせん【天井扇】

■ ceiling fan

See A to Z Ceiling Fan Showroom: www.fans-tastic.com for a variety.


6. (自動車)ファン

■ automotive fan

The fan used in automobiles is generally called a ファン.


7. ファン(人)

■ fan (of sports, etc.)

This is similar to the word fan in English that comes from "fanatic." It is also used to mean admirer. With this sense, the object of admiration does not have to be a celebrity.


This entry was created by Benjamin Barrett, with additional contributions by Tom Gally and Paul Flint.


Created 2000-08-06. Revised 2000-08-07. Photos of 扇風機 added by TG 2000-08-10. Photo of 換気扇 added by PF 2000-12-11.


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