Buddhist priest's robe (kesa)

Edo or Meiji era
latter half of 19th century

Object Place: Japan


Height x width: 118.7 x 200.8 cm (46 3/4 x 79 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silk, silver gilt paper; lampas with 4and1 satin foundation and 1/2 twill supplementary weave (nishiki); pieced and appliquéd

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Seven-columned kesa with decoration of paulownia and phoenixes. Columns, dividing bands, border: dark blue silk figured satin-weave ground with stylized paulownia and phoenix motifs in alternating horizontal bands. The colors are intentionally blurred or shaded in sections of the motif. A whitish, flat gold-leafed paper thread is used, and the weft floats are relatively long, imparting a loose feel to the textile.
Shiten, niten: white silk figured satin weave ground with motifs of stylized snowflakes and the myriad treasures. Flat gold-leafed paper thread delineates the plant motifs gathered in the snowflakes, and the myriad treasures are scattered throughout the interstitial spaces. Lining: white silk twill ground patterned with pine-bark lozenge and floral diamond motifs. There is a thin paper padding between the outer fabric and lining.


Gift of Denman Waldo Ross gift to the MFA, February 15, 1917 Transferred from Asiatic Dept. to Textiles

Credit Line

Denman Waldo Ross Collection