A kichō (几帳?) is a portable multi-paneled silk partition supported by a two-rod T-pole. It came into use in aristocratic households during and following the Heian period in Japan when it became a standard piece of furniture. They are similar in appearance to noren.
The kichō is often placed just on the inside of bamboo blinds, forming a portable double privacy barrier to the outside of the house. They are also used as portable room dividers inside the house. Today, they are most often used as decorations or to hide boxes or other unsightly messes in a home.
In former times, they would often be used to hide noble women from public eyes when they visited shrines or temples, and to provide additional privacy for the women at home. Smaller versions called sashikichō (差几帳?) were carried by the female attendants of a noble woman in order to hide her from public view while she traveled.
- Ueda, Atsushi (1990). The Inner Harmony of the Japanese House. Stephen Suloway (translator). Kodansha International. pp. 66–67. ISBN 4-7700-2353-7.
- 几帳（きちょう） [Kichō] (in Japanese). 人形のこうげつTAKASAKI. Archived from the original on August 18, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
- Murasaki, Shikibu (October 11, 2001). "General Glossary". The Tale of Genji. Royall Tyler (translator). Viking Press. p. 1151. ISBN 0-670-03020-1.
- Frédéric, Louis (April 30, 2005). Japan Encyclopedia. Käthe Roth (translator). Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. p. 514. ISBN 0-674-01753-6. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
- Sei, Shōnagon (April 15, 1991). The Pillow Book of Sei Shōnagon. Ivan I. Morris (translator). Columbia University Press. p. 288. ISBN 0-231-07337-2.
Media related to Kichō at Wikimedia Commons
- 彩る調度の品々 (Japanese)