Komorebi (木漏れ日) is one of those uniquely untranslatable Japanese words. It means “sunlight filtering through the tree leaves” and embodies a poetic appreciation for nature and its changing seasons. Capturing that aesthetic, and embedding it into a beautiful handheld fan (uchiwa), is designer Kotoko Hirata, who created the Komorebi Uchiwa.
Escape the summer heat with this beautiful handheld fan made from Echizen Washi paper, a traditional Japanese craft with a 1500-year history. Artisans steeped in the tradition create leaf patterns by hand so when sunlight hits the fan a silhouette of tree leaves appear. It’s a lovely reminder that there are ways of appreciating the summer, rather than escape into air conditioning.
Once the paper is completed it’s transported to Kyoto where fan makers, known for their kyo-uchiwa, create the radial wooden skeleton of the fan and merge it with the paper. The result is a wonderful collaboration of craftsmanship and nature. It’s available in the Spoon & Tamago Shop ($53).