The Akomeogi (hiogi meaning folding fan) were developed around 500AD, in the Heian period. These first folding fans were made by tying thin strips of cypress together with thread, the number of the strips (or ribs) according to one’s rank. The higher the rank, the more ribs were attached. Nobility of that period held these fans as an important part of formal attire. Sometimes, the paper used in these fans would carry a written record of a significant event, rendering them important documents as well.