A noren is a traditional Japanese door curtain or Japanese fabric divider. They are hung in doorways, windows or even to conceal a hall or storage closet. Most feature a sleeve along the top for a curtain rod or bamboo rod for easy hanging. The most common noren is rectangular, but you can also find ‘half door’ or ‘top door’ noren for specialized styles. Noren normally have a slit that runs from the bottom to nearly the top. This makes it easier to pass through the curtain.
These Japanese dividers may be used to enhance any room or doorway. Noren are also used professionally in business. Restaurants and small businesses use these in doorways to help keep out dust or as a buffer against the sun. Business owners often print their name and logo on these to draw more attention to their place. Outdoor noren used in businesses allow customers to know if the business is open or closed. The curtains are hung in the morning when they open and taken down at the end of the day when they close their shops. These are popular in Asian restaurants to separate the kitchen and dining room. Noren softens noise and can trap odors in the kitchen.
Noren are available in many styles and patterns including written kanji or calligraphy, fish, birds, poems, temples, mountains, scenery, characters and people. Chopa Zen Home recently added several new patterns. Our favorite is the Kinkaku-ji Temple noren. The Kinkaku-ji temple (Temple of the Golden Pavilion) resides in Kyoto, Japan and was built to house Buddhist relics. Across the water, an elegant Maiko (Geisha trainee) strolling the garden has stopped to admire the temple. You will enjoy the vivid colors and symbolic designs of this noren. This noren is made by artisans in Japan.