Fans resemble seasons ie: fall -could have autumn leaves on it.
Fans have many uses, sensual object -gives off many different signs (warning, inviting, very discrete) "a language of fans"
"The Stage Life of Props" Andrew Sofer
Personal object, sentimental/nostalgic value. Could be insignificant in appearance...
a stealthy weapon
represents other props (walking stick, paddle, sword, cups, bottles, arrows or natural phenomena like wind, rain, the moon, and waves).
an iPhone (although not beautiful) could be a modern representation of the fan. iPhones also have many different apps that allow the phone to do multiple tasks/have multiple uses...

**From Historical Dictionary of Tradtional Japanese Theatre's entry on "Fans":
Fans are among the most widely used properties in traditional Japanese theatre. There is a wide range, each with its technical name, differing in size, number of ribs, materials, and shape (&folding or nonfolding). Every character carries one, as do even the musicians. The fan is carried in the hand, inserted at the kimono lapel, or thrust into the obi (a sash). Musicians usually have smaller fans than actors. Courtesans (like Lady Han) usually don't have fans because it is considered rude for them to cool themselves in front of the clients they are supposed to entertain.

American fan
wind machine
Stevie Nicks with wind