A Large Ragged and Well-Used Faded Cotton Noren: Tsutsugaki Kanji

$295.00 USD

late nineteenth, early twentieth century
54" x 64", 137 cm x 162.5 cm

This is an extremely faded, slightly battered and repaired, well-worn five-panel, indigo resist-dyed cotton noren. A noren is a traditional curtain that can acts as a shop sign when hung in front of a store (as is probably the case here) or a kind of door/room divider depending on how the noren is used.

As can easily be seen when poring over the accompanying detail photos this noren is not only large in size but it shows signs of significant wear: the undyed areas are stained and scuffed, the indigo is sun faded, the cloth is either torn in places or stitched and patched. All these elements are traces of its life of work and testify to its former usefulness.

The cotton is tsutsugaki dyed showing kanji or Chinese characters: they are so well done as to appear freshly brushed directly onto the cloth which, of course, is not the case at all.

But still, this is a marvelous, very good-sized utilitarian cloth from old Japan and one whose essence captures the spirit of a bygone era.