February 28th, 2009 by
Category: Culture Art, Experience, Report

Fans, Target on the Box

Hi! I happened to have a chance to experience a traditional Japanese indoor game called ‘ To-sen-kyo’ in a neighboring town, Suzaka.

Suzaka is called a town of ‘Kura’ or traditional warehouses, once thrived as a big producer of high-quality silk.


1 What is ‘To-sen-kyo’?

‘To-sen-kyo’ literally means ‘throwing-fan-amusement’.

2 How to play

Put the target called ‘Chou’ (means butterfly) on the wooden box called ‘Makura’ (pillow). You sit on heels at a distance of about 2 meters and toss an open fan called ‘Oogi’ (folding fan)to the target; the primary objective of this game is to knock over the target, but if the fan hits the base, you will lose points.

The scores differ according to the pattern made by the fan and the target, and sometimes the box.

It is said to have become popular in the mid Edo period around 1770s and is still played in some areas.


I tried many times. At first, I did not know how to toss the fan properly, and so it did not even graze the target. BUT under the kind guidance of the staff, I improved a lot in the end!!


Well, it was more amusing than it looked and , what is more, it made me feel as elegant as a court noble in old days.