When the noren (curtain with the store name printed on it) is hanging in the doorway of a noodle shop, Japanese restaurant, tea house, or other classically Japanese establishment, the place is “open for business.” Since the noren is a hanging cloth, nothing is achieved by pushing one’s arm against it. Such is the feeling one experiences when talking an action (through words or deeds) which elicits no response whatsoever.
A: Dame da na, yappari. Are kore isshookenmei settoku shiyoo to shite mo hannoo nashi. Kore ja mattaku, noren ni udeoshi mo ii toko sa.
B: Yowatta ne.
A: It’s not working. I’m trying everything I can to convince him, but there’s absolutely no response! It’s complete ineffective…
B: Sorry to hear that.