Behind The Design: Noren Playing Cards - Deckita Decks

Behind The Design: Noren Playing Cards

What does 'Noren' mean? 

The name 'Noren' is a Japanese word '暖簾 (のれん)' and they are strips of traditional Japanese fabric that are hung on doorways, between rooms, or in windows. They are mostly used for advertising but also protection from sun, wind and rain.

The idea of Noren is to create art through Japanese culture in an intimate and unique way. I wanted to show the organic movement and texture of the fabric. Similar to the flowing motion of paper in the art of Cardistry. The design is completed by embedding calligraphy into the fabric to give the design a story.

Noren - Wikipedia

Translating The Design

We carefully composed these words by combining the themes of emotion, nature and expression. These three aspects of life are interconnected and woven into the fabric of life.

This style of the Japanese calligraphy is called 'Sosho', which is an abstract style of writing (explained further below)

  1. Right side: Kanjō (感情) which translates to Emotion. Your raw perception of feeling, representing passion and culture.

  2. Middle: Kachoufugetsu (花鳥風月this is a 4 kanji character idiom which translates to Flower, Bird, Wind, Moon. It paints a beautiful scenery of nature, representing life.

  3. Left side: Hyōgen (表現) which translates to Expression. The style in which you express yourself, representing creative art such as Cardistry.

The Artist Behind The Brush

Technique, brush control, and artistic sense. This is where 25 years of practicing the art of calligraphy can be appreciated. The calligraphy is done by Irekoma Kazuyo (いれこまかずよ). She is an experienced Japanese Calligrapher who lives in Sendai, Miyagi, Japan. 

Starting her journey when she was just 6 years old, she has been taught by a professional calligrapher and practiced the art for 25 years. She was graded and gifted with a special name by her sensei after reaching a certain grade. 

She has helped me work on this project and it gave her a reason to pick up the brush once again.These are her special hanko stamps (signature) she was given by her sensei: 

(Marked above) Irekoma Kazuyo (入駒一代)
(Marked below) Sensho (泉咲)

The Art Of Japanese Calligraphy

Japanese Calligraphy is called shodō, way of writing (書道

You may know there are 3 different alphabets in the Japanese language (hiragana, katakana and kanji), but there is more to calligraphy than just these words. There are 4 different styles of writing, each one with different emotion and meaning.

Here are some of the different styles of writing:

  1. Kaisho (square style): It is a precise composition of square brush strokes that are clear and straightforward.

  2. Gyosho (moving style): It is drawn quickly to show the fluidity and motion of brush strokes. It is more of a cursive style of writing.

  3. Sosho (grass style): It is a cursive style of abstract writing, which can be difficult to read. It is the most artistic style that requires experience and control. 

       Mastery of these styles takes time, practice, and a deep appreciation for the aesthetics of the characters:

      Lynbrook JNHS

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