Strolling through Nanao
Experiencing Ipponsugi Street Through Tales of the “Hanayome Noren”
In the north-central region of Japan bordering the Japan sea, a bride-to-be will be given a slitted curtain known as a “noren”.
It will hang from the entrance to her in-laws’ altar room on the day of her nuptials, and beneath its threshold she will cross into married life.
She will then pray in front of the altar, and after communing with her ancestors, she will make for the reception.
This is the story of the “Hanayome Noren”; a custom spanning the regions of Noto, Kaga, and Etchu - lands that were once united under the feudal domain of Kaga.
Roughly translating to “Bridal Curtain,” it is a threshold crossed but once in a lifetime.
When the feasting is over, the noren will be put away, laid dormant within the home.
What cast are the thoughts of the wives who retrieve their bridal noren on a whim? What flickers through their hearts as they gaze upon it?
I want to discover the emotions weaving through these bridal curtains.
To do so, I took a stroll through Ipponsugi Street, right by the Hanayome Noren Museum.
Wringing soy sauce the old-fashioned way, creating your own scent sachet, or stone-grinding your own matcha - this street is full of things to see and do. It’s wonderful because you can taste Ipponsugi’s history of craftsmanship through these experiences. As I passed through each store and experienced what they had to offer, I probed the hostesses and their husbands for the story behind each of their bridal curtains.