Korean Fan/Mu Puche

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Korean Fighting Fan is a martial arts weapon spawned during the early Joseon Dynasty as a weapon of opportunity. Swords and similar edged weapons were banned during this time which created a need for weapons that could be held in plain sight without arousing suspicion. Most popular among the middle class and upper class, the fan became an option.

Craftsmen discovered a method of taking the “pak dahl” wood, an extremely resilient birch tree that thrived in the ice storms and harsh seasons of Korea’s mountain peninsula, and tempering to a hardness that could resist edged weapons typical of the era.

Following traditions of traditional weaponry, Korean Fans were often unique to their wielder and bore many possible combinations. Some wove a flexible metal ribbons along the outer most edge for cutting power. Some preferred feathers that hid finger-sized razor blades which would rake upon striking. Others held variations of poisons or were used to conceal other weapons such as throwing blades which could be released in a spread upon snapping the fan open. Poison fans often hid deadly to stunning concoctions in bladders or channels which would open upon spreading the fan, allowing the user to gently direct a gust of toxins at their opponent over short distances. Folklore also suggests occasional traveling merchants trading with China possessed fans with small compartments in the vanes of the fan which held small explosive pellets that upon striking a surface would create a bright and dazzling flash of light.