From Middle Chinese屏風 (beng pjuwng). Compare modern simplified Mandarin屏风 (píngfēng). First mention in Japanese recorded history was in reference to a gift in 686 from the Silla kingdom on the Korean peninsula.
屏風と商人は直にては立たぬ (byōbu to akindo wa sugu nite wa tatanu): "folding screens and business people don't get set up immediately" → setting up a folding screen or a business relationship takes time and preparation
屏風と商人は曲がらねば世に立たず (byōbu to akindo wa magaraneba yo ni tatazu): "folding screens and business people won't stand in this world if they don't bend" → both folding screens and business people must be capable of bending (being flexible) if they are to stand up properly (be successful)
屏風を返す (byōbu o kaesu): to knock something overflat, much as a folding screen will fall over
屏風畳に炭油 (byōbu tatami ni sumi abura): "folding screen / tatami mats, and charcoal / oil" → the various sundries needed for a household