Buddhist priest's robe (kesa)

Edo period
19th century

Object Place: Japan


L x W: 106.5 x 179 cm (41 15/16 x 70 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Appliquéd silk, simple gauze weave (sha), embroidery, pierced and appliquéd

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Five-columned kesa with decoration of peony arabesques. Columns, dividing bands, border, shiten, niten: silk ground fabric of red gauze weave embroidered with a pattern of peonies and scrolling vines. Using a twisted yarn, the motif is created by needle-weaving parallel to the weft yarns in the Japanese embroidery technique known as suganui. A red, round braided cord is attached. Beneath the niten, light blue twisted yarn alternates with multiple strands of gold-wrapped thread for a decorative effect. Lining: none.


Dr. WIlliam Sturgis Bigelow gift to MFA March 3, 1921.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection