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Useless Tribute, Desirable ExoticsJapanese Folding Fans in China, 1000–1500

Useless Tribute, Desirable ExoticsJapanese Folding Fans in China, 1000–1500 During the premodern era, folding fans were among the few handicrafts that China imported from Japan. The availability of Japanese folding fans in China changed along with Sino-Japanese relations. They were rare during the Northern Song due to the suspension of diplomatic relations, but after the Ming court reestablished a tributary relationship with the Ashikaga shogunate in the early fifteenth century, many more Japanese folding fans entered China via tribute trade. The scholar-officials, who generally admired the delicate Japanese-made folding fans, chose to emphasize different values of the fans in different contexts. The Japanese folding fans were “useless tribute” in the scholar-officials' public writings, but in reality the “Japan” brand actually increased the commercial value of the fans in the market. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies Duke University Press

Useless Tribute, Desirable ExoticsJapanese Folding Fans in China, 1000–1500

Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies , Volume 21 (1) – May 1, 2021

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Copyright
Copyright © 2021 Yiwen Li
ISSN
1598-2661
eISSN
2586-0380
DOI
10.1215/15982661-8873882
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

During the premodern era, folding fans were among the few handicrafts that China imported from Japan. The availability of Japanese folding fans in China changed along with Sino-Japanese relations. They were rare during the Northern Song due to the suspension of diplomatic relations, but after the Ming court reestablished a tributary relationship with the Ashikaga shogunate in the early fifteenth century, many more Japanese folding fans entered China via tribute trade. The scholar-officials, who generally admired the delicate Japanese-made folding fans, chose to emphasize different values of the fans in different contexts. The Japanese folding fans were “useless tribute” in the scholar-officials' public writings, but in reality the “Japan” brand actually increased the commercial value of the fans in the market.

Journal

Sungkyun Journal of East Asian StudiesDuke University Press

Published: May 1, 2021

References