Noren ni Udeoshi

[Japanese Idioms by Flashcards]


to push against the entry curtain

(a useless and completely ineffective action, a wasted effort)

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.

Sample text:
(Style: spoken/casual/male)

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: だめだな、やっぱり。あれこれ一生懸命説得しようとしても反応なし。これじゃ全く、のれんに腕押しもいいとこさ。
B: 弱ったね。

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.

Japanese Idioms



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