Looking for a textural wall hanging or room divider which is also a beautiful work of art? Then you may want to consider this Great Wave Noren. A Noren is a traditional Japanese fabric divider, which can be hung on doors, between rooms, or in windows. To make them more fluid, and passable, Noren usually have long vertical slits right down the middle. They are rectangular in shape and come in a variety of sizes, colors and patterns.
Outside of the home, Noren can be found in restaurants and shops as a wind protector or sun shade, and are also used to display advertising. They are also found in commercial bathhouses, known as Sentō, where they are colored blue for men and red for women.
One way to celebrate this long-held Japanese tradition in your home is with this Noren depicting Hokusai’s famous painting, “The Great Wave at Kanagawa”; an iconic frozen image of a great wave eclipsing Mount Fuji in the distance. While many viewers know this work of art by the “Great Wave” in the foreground, Mount Fuji has always been the focus of this inverted composition.
Fans of Hokusai’s woodblock prints have often looked at this image and assumed it to be a tsunami, but the wave is more likely to be an oversized “okinami”, which is the Japanese word for “ocean wave”. To fully appreciate the artist behind this famous print is to understand that Hokusai was a thoroughly obsessed Bohemian artist who was a singled-minded artistic genius. Later in life he signed one of his final works “The Art-Crazy Old Man”. Perhaps his eccentricity is what drove him to change his name about 30 times and live in some ninety different homes during his 89 years. Hokusai left over 30,000 works of art, including woodblock prints, silk paintings, sketches and picture books.
This magnificent Noren is an excellent way to decorate and furnish your home in Zen fashion and it will enhance any room or doorway. Made from cotton canvas, the Great Wave Noren shown here measures 33” by 59”. Its closed-top seam allows it to be hung with a wooden dowel or bamboo rod.