Craftworkers in Toyama busy making hand fans with Japanese washi paper

Craftspeople in Toyama Prefecture, central Japan, are busy making uchiwa, or hand fans, using traditional Japanese washi paper.

The paper has been produced in the mountainous Gokayama district in the prefecture's Nanto City for about 400 years.

Production of the fans is peaking at a local washi workshop in the city ahead of summer.

Artisans at the workshop are using templates to carefully paint on the paper traditional patterns using summer symbols such as hydrangeas and goldfish.

Although the workshop produces fans throughout the year, it receives the most orders before summer.

About 160 fans are to be made at the workshop and sold at a local airport souvenir store as well as online.

Craftsperson Tsuchiya Noriko said she hopes people can feel a bit of coolness from the fans' colors and designs. She added that she wants customers to experience the products with five senses.