I once lived in Japan and one of the signs that summer had arrived was a changing of noren over shophouse entrances. A noren is a fine dividing curtain that is hung outside a store or restaurant to show that it’s open for business, it is removed again at night. The noren may have the store’s logo dyed on it, a shape or insect such as a dragonfly.

One of the my favourite colours is indigo and you can see beautiful examples of indigo in noren, often weathered and worn overtime and developing a lovely patina entwined with the threads. It’s a very down to earth colour that you see complemented with white especially when it’s used in porcelain. There’s a great indigo dyer in Kyoto who uses natural indigo. http://web.kyoto-inet.or.jp/people/utsuki/index.html

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