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Not currently on display at the V&A

Noren

late 19th century-early 20th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Woven cotton, with freehand paste-resist decoration (tsutsugaki)
Brief Description
Noren (door curtain), woven blue cotton with paste-resist octopus design, Japan, late 19th - early 20th century
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.
Dimensions
  • Length: 1000mm (Note: Measured by conservation)
  • Width: 650mm (Note: Measured by conservation)
  • Depth: 10mm (Note: Measured by conservation)
Styles
Object history
Purchased. Registered File Number 1981/1804.
Subject depicted
Summary
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.
Bibliographic References
  • 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
Collection
Accession Number
FE.49-1982

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record createdFebruary 12, 2000
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