Sudare Bamboo Screens (すだれ)

Sudare are bamboo screens constructed by knitting together strips of bamboo or reed with string.

Common Sudare

Sudare are commonly hung in front of windows or from the edge of eaves. They are used to block the sunlight, prevent people from seeing the interior, and keeping insects out. They are a common feature in the summer time.

There are two types of Sudare, 'tatezu,' which are rested on the exterior surface of the house or the like, and 'kakezu,' which are hung from the eaves, and even though the use of drapes, curtains and blinds has become widespread, Sudare remain very popular due to their ease of use and aesthetic appeal. Modern architecture has seen the adoption of Sudare for use in exterior and interior decoration.

Misu bamboo blinds

Misu are a type of Sudare that has been provided with a cloth fringe, which is often green in color. Misu were used in large residences of feudal lords and court nobles and the like to demarcate the interior and exterior spaces of the house. Misu have been in use for a long time, and can be seen depicted in historically relevant works, such as the Hyakunin Isshu (one hundred waka poems by one hundred poets). The Sudare mentioned in the anecdote by Heian poet Sei Shonagon, "Lifting the Sudare, I gazed upon the snow covered Koroho".

Small Sudare used in cooking and the like

There are also small sized Sudare that are used in food preparation, such as in the preparation of sushi rolls; in particular, the small mats called "makisu" or "sumaki."

Country of manufacture

In the 1970s, the percentage of Sudare manufactured in Japan was large; however, due to river and wetlands reclamation projects and the like, which reduced the areas for reed production, the number of Sudare imported from China increased.