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  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    late 19th century-early 20th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woven cotton, with freehand paste-resist decoration (tsutsugaki)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This Japanese textile is called a ‘noren’. It would have hung at the entrance to a shop or restaurant to indicate that the establishment was open for business. Noren, still used in Japan today, give protection against rain and dust and shade from the sun. They also dissuade prying eyes, yet can easily be brushed aside to allow people to enter. Noren are made from separate panels of cloth sewn together at the top. They have simple, bold designs that suit their function as advertisements. This noren, with its stiking octopus motif, probably hung at the entrance to a shop or restaurant specialising in seafood.

Physical description

Doorway curtain (noren) of indigo blue cotton made from two loom widths. These two widths of material are sewn together vertically, leaving about a quarter open to allow a passage through the doorway.
Attached to the noren at the top are three tabs sewn onto the curtain with pale blue cotton thread.
Across the bottom of the noren is a design of an octopus among waves. This motif was carried out in painting and tube-applied paste-resist (tsutsugaki) in orange and white as well as a paler shade of indigo blue.

Place of Origin

Japan (made)


late 19th century-early 20th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Woven cotton, with freehand paste-resist decoration (tsutsugaki)


Length: 1000 mm, Width: 650 mm, Depth: 10 mm

Object history note

Purchased. Registered File Number 1981/1804.

Descriptive line

Noren (door curtain), woven blue cotton with paste-resist octopus design, Japan, late 19th - early 20th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Jackson, Anna, Japanese Textiles in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London: V&A Publications, 2000, plate 86
Jackson, Anna, Japanese Country Textiles, London: V&A Publications, 1997, fig 57


Cotton (textile)


Weaving; Resist dyeing

Subjects depicted





East Asia Collection

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