In 1805 an unknown artist created “Kidaishouran,” an epic picture scroll stretching over 40 ft (12.3 meters) and depicting the bustling life of Nihonbashi during Japan’s Edo era 200 years ago. In a section of it (above) one can see a busy part of Nihonbashi, lined with sellers and their noren curtains hanging above their stores.
To commemorate and remember their neighborhood, over 30 Nihonbashi-based businesses came together to create noren that symbolized their own identity. They were all hung along a 525-ft (160 m) underground passageway at Mitsukoshi-mae Station, effectively recreating the 200-year old picture scroll.
The exhibition has since ended, and the noren taken down, but the project has been digitized and all the participating businesses and their noren can be found here. Below are some of our favorites.