The ancient Chinese loved fans. The earliest fans were made of feathers. One of the ancient Chinese gods, Zhong-Liquan (the war god), often carried a fan of feathers, although no one knows why. Perhaps he simply liked it.
Over the years, the clever Chinese people made fans from all kinds of materials including straw and wood. But it was not until the Ming Dynasty that the Chinese discovered the art of paper fan folding.
They did not invent the folded paper fan. That invention arrived from Japan and Korea on the Ming Dynasty ships that wandered the earth in search of treasure.
Once the folding paper fan was introduced into ancient Chinese society, it was immediately adopted.
Everyone had to have a folded paper fan. Fans were embroidered and painted and decorated and hung.
It was more than a fad. It soon became a national activity - nearly everyone made and carried gorgeously decorated folding paper fans.