Tag Archives: Noren

Japanese Gastronomy on Noren/暖簾/Entrance Curtains by Koutarou Mizuno/水野光太郎光太郎!

the other as I was reporting on the Tea Festival in kanaya, Shimada City, I was invited by a local to visit a special art exhibition privately held by a local citizen!

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I understood at once it was about dye works when I found the noren/のれん/entrance curtain!
Shizuoka Prefecture is famous for many dye works artists including Keisuke Serizawa and his disciples!

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The artist name was Koutarou Mizuno/水野光太郎!

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Koutarou Mizuno was actually born in kanaya in 1911!
he graduated from the Japan university industrial studies Faculty in Architecture in 1932.
He was very active in teaching in many national schools until 1977 and departed from this world in 1992 aat the age of 81
After a fateful meeting with wood block print artist shigeru kuriyama/栗山茂 in 1950 he became an active dye-work artist from 1951 until his last days!

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The artist’s sketchbook!

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The initial dye works!

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The artist kept his passion alive till his last days!

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Vegetable Noren!

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fruit noren!

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Eggplant noren!

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Daikon noren!

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The exhibition included other dye works such as these fruit!

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Vase noren!

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Flower kimono!

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Flowers and plants partition!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
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, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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Noren/暖簾/Shop Curtains: A Japanese Tradition 3

A very large noren in front of a Japanese restaurant!

When visiting Japan, have you ever noticed those unusual “curtains” hanging outside the main entrance of traditional shops, izakayas and sometimes of private homes?
They are called “noren”.

Noren (暖簾) are traditional Japanese fabric dividers, hung between rooms, on walls, in doorways, or in windows. They usually have one or more vertical slits cut from the bottom to nearly the top of the fabric, allowing for easier passage or viewing. Noren are rectangular (but not always a rule) and come in many different materials, sizes, colors, and patterns.

Noren are traditionally used by shops and restaurants as a means of protection from sun, wind, and dust, and for advertising space. Sentō (commercial bathhouses) also place noren across their entrances, typically blue in color for men and red for women with the kanji 湯 (yu, litterally hot water) or the corresponding hiragana ゆ. They are also hung in the front entrance to a shop to signify that the establishment is open for business, and they are always taken down at the end of the business day.

There are still many left in Shizuoka City and Prefecture in spite of all that modernizing and I do meet a lot of them along my bicycle wanderings. It would be a pity not to share their sight, as it would make for beautiful souvenirs to take back home next time you visit Japan!

Accordingly here is the third of hopefully many postings on those little beauties!

You probably guessed this is a Chinese restaurant!
Actually “Chinese restaurants” in Japan are of two kind: Japanese-style serving ramen, gyza and stir-fried food as above and rea Chinese restaurants!

Unusual noren in front of a shop selling all kinds of artifacts from cloth to pottery.

A small Japanese traditional cloth store!

A typical small Izakaya!

Prancing rabbits!

An inviting “Tanuki”/racoon at an Izakaya!

Traditional Yakitori Izakaya!

Found this beautiful calligraphy at the end of a small alley!

“Hashi/Bridge”, an izakaya specializing in local Japanese sake I haven’t visited yet!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Bento Boutique, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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Jouren/常連/Regular Customers: A Japanese Tradition

At Yasaitei,….

The Japanese are in perpetual search for harmony.
This constant pursuit of “wa/和” preoccupies them not only at the office with their fellow workers, at home with their family, but also, and probably most, when taking a pleasurable respite at the table or counter of their favorite restaurant or bar.

Whereas in many other countries patronizing the same establishment on a regular basis might be considered at best as an ostentatious show, and a disreputable habit at worst, eating and drinking out in Japan is a sine qua non prerequisite to a successful life, both professional and social.

“Jouren” can be loosely translated as “regular customer”, although the term does not give justice to its real meaning.
The jouren is an essential feature at any establishment worth its salt. He will usually sit quietly at the end of the counter if he is the only one present at the time, or next to another regular.
Now, if you observe him carefully (unobtrusively) you will notice that he is served food and drinks without orders or enquiries. There is a clear reason to that: the oyakata/chef or ofukuro/lady owner knows what the jouren likes to eat and drink within a tacitly agreed budget.
The jouren is not necessarily a well-off person, but he is a vital actor in the gastronomic theater because he will occasionally come out of his reserve to gently recommend a dish or concoction when he notices a new customer experiencing some difficulty in choosing from an unknown menu. Very often a Japanese client will (politely) ask the local jouren for advice and enquire on the very food he is eating or on the best drink available.

At Tomii,…

Another peculiarity you will not fail to mark is that the jouren usually takes his leave without paying. He simply has a bill in the books that he will pay at a more or less determined date away from the inquisitive eyes of other diners and drinkers. This last arrangement is more practical for the owner’s accounts and tax returns. You will know that you have become a jouren the day or night the owner tells you to pay later, which of course means that he/she expects you to grace the place again soon!

Be it a posh kaiseki restaurant, an expensive sushi bar, a simple but popular izakaya, or a late night cocktail lounge, the “rules” are the same.
The jouren possesses an unfailing instinct as to the timing of his visits. He will avoid the really busy period of the evening, and will retreat with a smile and wave when his favorite haunt is unseasonably busy. He will also take leave when other customers start flowing in. On the other hand, a jouren will get full satisfaction and no questions asked if he requests a few seats for a party or some friends. Simply put, he is priority.

Jouren usually has his/her “bottle keep”, or own bottle of favourite spirits in situ, although the notion can be double-edged. Some izakayas or Japanese restaurants and bars make it rule for all customers, regular or not to acquire their own bottle with the attached condition that it must be consumed within a certain time limit. But a real jouren at an establishment worthy of its salt will probably keep a hard to find whisky or an extravagant shochu for his/her sole usage. On the other hand, if the jouren kindly offers you a glass of his/her own nectar, you may assume you will be part of the selected clientele very soon!

At Ekimae matsuno Sushi,…

Japanese owners value their jouren very much for another reason.
In a tightly preordained world where the customer and the owner/chef are literally sitting on either side of a rigid fence, the jouren becomes an indispensable interlocutor you can talk shop with or even ask for advice. Japanese chefs have very little free time to spend outside work and take the pulse of their society to keep in touch with the prevalent trends of their fellow citizens. The jouren will bring in the news and information on any subject and the answers to questions that the chef will not hesitate to ask.
It works both ways: high-class geishas in Kyoto, who are not mere entertainers, do make a point to read at least two or three daily newspapers every morning, including one financial tabloid to ensure they can not only follow their clients’ conversations but give their own advice when solicited.

The nationality of a jouren is of little importance. Being a Japanese fluent foreigner is actually an advantage as some social restrictions inherent to the Japanese society can easily be done without.
As a case in point a great majority of celebrated resident foreign chefs spend most of their free time patronizing local sushi and kaiseki restaurants for the dual purpose of relaxation and study in great company!

As a final word do not think jouren are exclusively male clients. There are certainly many ladies among them, although they will generally patronize a different type of establishment. But the same “rules” and traditions apply!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World, Palate To Pen, Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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Noren/暖簾/Shop Curtains: A Japanese Tradition 2

A very traditional style for a oden-ya!

When visiting Japan, have you ever noticed those unusual “curtains” hanging outside the main entrance of traditional shops, izakayas and sometimes of private homes?
They are called “noren”.

Noren (暖簾) are traditional Japanese fabric dividers, hung between rooms, on walls, in doorways, or in windows. They usually have one or more vertical slits cut from the bottom to nearly the top of the fabric, allowing for easier passage or viewing. Noren are rectangular (but not always a rule) and come in many different materials, sizes, colors, and patterns.

Noren are traditionally used by shops and restaurants as a means of protection from sun, wind, and dust, and for advertising space. Sentō (commercial bathhouses) also place noren across their entrances, typically blue in color for men and red for women with the kanji 湯 (yu, litterally hot water) or the corresponding hiragana ゆ. They are also hung in the front entrance to a shop to signify that the establishment is open for business, and they are always taken down at the end of the business day.

There are still many left in Shizuoka City and Prefecture in spite of all that modernizing and I do meet a lot of them along my bicycle wanderings. It would be a pity not to share their sight, as it would make for beautiful souvenirs to take back home next time you visit Japan!

Accordingly here is the second of hopefully many postings on those little beauties!

A large noren for a large izakaya, Taihei!

A double entrance for that izakaya with the noren inside a torii gate!

Elegant rabbit!

Great calligraphy!

Very modern approach by this cheaper kind of izakaya!

A traditional matsuri/festival “flag”!

More coming soon!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World, Palate To Pen, Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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日本語のブログ
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Noren/暖簾/Shop Curtains: A Japanese Tradition 1

A beautiful turnip noren at Tomii, Shizuoka City!

When visiting Japan, have you ever noticed those unusual “curtains” hanging outside the main entrance of traditional shops, izakayas and sometimes of private homes?
They are called “noren”.

Noren (暖簾) are traditional Japanese fabric dividers, hung between rooms, on walls, in doorways, or in windows. They usually have one or more vertical slits cut from the bottom to nearly the top of the fabric, allowing for easier passage or viewing. Noren are rectangular (but not always a rule) and come in many different materials, sizes, colors, and patterns.

Noren are traditionally used by shops and restaurants as a means of protection from sun, wind, and dust, and for advertising space. Sentō (commercial bathhouses) also place noren across their entrances, typically blue in color for men and red for women with the kanji 湯 (yu, litterally hot water) or the corresponding hiragana ゆ. They are also hung in the front entrance to a shop to signify that the establishment is open for business, and they are always taken down at the end of the business day.

There are still many left in Shizuoka City and Prefecture in spite of all that modernizing and I do meet a lot of them along my bicycle wanderings. It would be a pity not to share their sight, as it would make for beautiful souvenirs to take back home next time you visit Japan!

Accordingly here is the first of hopefully many postings on those little beauties!

A long, sober and narrow one. Pristine white!

For the night owls!

Chibariyo, an Okinawa restaurant.

Izakaya noren: Kurumaya.

Another izakaya nore, very feminine?

Simple design and pretty complicated characters!

Mishimaya, a Soba Restaurant. Very basic and simple.

Masa Sushi Restaurant. Another basic and simple Noren.

More colourful ones coming soon!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World, Palate To Pen, Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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日本語のブログ
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