Japanese culture

Hang Japanese curtains : Perfect Guide for your best Noren

Japanese curtains, Noren
Written by Kaori sensei

Are you looking for a Japanese home style? This is the Japanese curtains, “noren”. Japanese people use in the house as a door to hide the eyes in bathrooms and kitchens. You can create a panel easily with using Japanese fabric.

This article should help you hang Japanese curtains for you!

Japanese Artistic Pink Sakura Doorway Noren

Also,if you’ve traveled to Japan, you’ve probably seen the short Japanese curtains doorway on the restaurant. You can hang it on the wall as an interior decoration. This is my favorite beckoning cat (maneki neko).

Maneki neko short japanese curtains

Today, I will introduce you to the Japanese curtain history, types, uses, and the meaning of the curtain patterns for choosing your best noren.

What is Japanese curtains?

 Background of Japanese curtains,noren

Japanses curt

Noren was originally placed outdoors to prevent wind and light from entering directly into the house, or as a blindfold. In Japan, noren is hung up when a store opens, and when it closes, it is put away. This is a signal that the store is open or closed. In the old days, the color of the noren was determined by the type of business. For example, sake brewers and kimono shops used indigo noren, white noren was used for sweets and food shops. And most of noren were plain at first, after the Kamakura period (1185-1333), designs were added to convey a message.

How to hang Japanese curtains?

It is easy to use. First, decide where you want to hang the curtain. Please check Nipponcraft, where there are photos of several example installations. My recommendation is to hang it in line with the door. The beauty of using Noren as a partition is that it can gently block people’s line of sight. If you completely block the space with a door, the space will be completely blocked off, but Noren is a thin fabric, so it can be used to mildly divide the space. For example, instead of closing a door completely, a noren can be hung inside to improve ventilation. Then, it is also recommended to use it to blindfold a pantry with a lot of stuff.

Spring Tension Curtain Rod

Once you have decided where you want to hang it, measure the dimensions and decide on a curtain that fits it. The top of the curtain is equipped with rod pockets, so simply thread the rods that fit the frame.
I recommended spring tension rod , then it is easy to adjust and remove. Choose one that matches the color of the curtain and the color of the door frame. Since the area of the curtain is large, it will change the image of the room well.

Choose Your Best Japanese Curtains

Here are some recommendations for each of the three types. I hope you will also take notice to the message of noren. Which one is the best fit for your home?

Japanese simple style

The simple Japanese style is very popular in Japanese rooms here in Japan. Many of the designs are easy to blend with other decorations.

Vertical Stripe Noren

This vertical stripe pattern is not only used for noren, but is also a traditional pattern seen in many Japanese kimonos. Indigo is also a very traditional color in Japan. Indigo noren is used by sake brewers and kimono shops to create a formality impression.

Old coin pattern Noren

This is a noren with a picture of Kan’ei Tsuho (old coin). This square coin was used in the Edo period (1603-1968) in Japan. The color is the traditional indigo, but if you look closely, you can see various blue colors folded together, which is beautiful.

Ink Cat Black and White Noren

This is a simple, white curtain with a cute cat and dragonfly drawn in ink. Suiboku-ga is a simple but profound painting that uses ink in various shades, light and dark.

In Japan, dragonflies are called “victory insects” because they only move forward, and their eyes are large and powerful. Also, the kanji ”幸” means happiness, so it’s very auspicious.

Enso circle Noren

Enso is one of the calligraphic styles in Zen. It is a circle written in a single stroke with a brush. It is expressed as a connected circle with no beginning or end.

Click here to buy.

It is said that the circle represents the infinite, enlightenment, psychology, and the universe as a whole. The circle is also a reflection of the viewer’s mind, so hanging it in your home may help you to reflect on yourself every day.

▶If you want to learn more about Zen, check out this article.

Japanese Brilliant style

Noren with brightly colored Japanese scenery and motifs, will make your room look gorgeous. Let’s decorate your Japanese space with the vivid beauty of Japan.

Cranes Printed

This curtain has a beautiful crane printed on the curtain. The crane is a very symbolic bird in Japan, and the cloud that appears with cranes is also a sign of good fortune, called 瑞雲(zuiun). And the crane represents abundant life force and longevity, making it a very auspicious pattern. In addition, it is said that once a crane becomes a couple, it will not change its partner for the rest of its life. From this, it has come to mean that the couple can be in harmony with each other forever. It is a very good pattern for couples.

Kyoto Geisha Girls at Fushimi Inari

If you’ve ever been to Kyoto, Fushimi Inari was probably a must-visit spot. This work of art depicting a geisha passing through the path of the torii gate is beautiful. In Japan, it is said that the nape of the neck is one part of a woman’s beauty. The value of feeling sexy in the beauty of the neckline behind the raised hair has been passed down to the present day in Japan.

 Japanese season style

The Japanese value the four seasons very much. We change the decoration of the house every season to enjoy the flowers, trees and seasonal scenery. Do you want to enjoy the Japanese style of the four seasons?]


Cherry blossom (Sakura 桜)

Spring in Japan means cherry blossoms. The light pink Sakura curtain will warm up your room. Why do Japanese people love cherry blossoms so much? It’s because we have a view of life and death that sees the beauty in the shortness of life, as beautiful flowers bloom in an instant and fall away in a week or so. This is why we have long been loved by the Japanese people as something sacred.

Wisteria(Fuji 藤)

The cherry blossoms are too famous, but the wisteria flowers here are also spring flowers. It is a beautiful light purple flower that comes into full bloom when the cherry blossoms are over. The wisteria is considered a symbol of prosperity and longevity. This beautiful flower blooms downward and is somewhat reserved, quiet and graceful. The word for wisteria is “welcome”. It is a perfect curtain for welcoming guests.


Golden fish (金魚)

Summer in Japan is all about festivals. Goldfish are an indispensable part of festivals. Every Japanese person has probably had a goldfish in the summer by scooping goldfish at festivals. Therefore, this goldfish curtain conveys the coolness of summer and the beautiful water surface.


Moon viewing

The middle of autumn, August 15th of the lunar calendar, is called the “Mid-Autumn Moon” and is the day for viewing the moon. And in Japan, it is said that the rabbit is making rice cakes in response to the pattern of the moon. This curtain beautifully expresses this autumnal scene.

Red fuji

Why this curtain for fall? You may be wondering. Mt Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan, turns red in the morning sun in late summer and early autumn. Red Fuji is rarely seen, s It is said that decorating with indoor decorations is good for Feng Shui. It is also said to bring good luck to people who wish to escape from bad luck or prosper in business.


Nanten&Camellia (南天&椿)

This red fruit is called “Nanten”. Nanten is often used for New Year’s decorations, and has the good meaning of “turning a difficult situation around. The camellia is a flower that blooms around the time of the arrival of spring. Camellias have been used to ward off evil spirits. And camellia is a very popular pattern for kimonos.

About the author

Kaori sensei

Japanese online teacher, live in Kamakura, Japan. She is currently working as a language teacher and online Japanese experience host to introduce Japanese culture to the world. She originally worked as an engineer at a Japanese company, so she is familiar with Japanese business culture too.

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