Japanese fans are made of paper on a bamboo frame, usually with a design painted on them. The fan is primarily used for fanning oneself in hot weather.
The fan symbolizes friendship, respect and good wishes. It is a gift that is given to people on special occasions, and it is also an important stage prop for the Japanese dance performances.
It was also used in the military as a way of sending signals on the field of battle, however fans were mainly used for social and court activities. They were used by warriors as a form of weapon, actors and dancers for performances, and children as a toy.
The fan stands for many things, the Japanese believe that the handle of the fan symbolizes the beginning of life and the ribs are for the roads of life going out in all directions.
A Tenugui is a thin Japanese hand towel made of cotton.
It is typically about 35 by 90 centimeters in size, plain weaved and is almost always printed with some pattern.
It can be used for anything a towel could be used for - as a washcloth, dishcloth, headband, souvenir or decoration. Towels made from terry cloth have replaced many of its use in the household. However tenugui is still popular as a souvenir, decoration and as a head covering in Kendo, or could be many things during Rakugo performance.
A tenugui frequently appears in anime and manga as a prop during a public-bath (sentou) scene.