Buddhist priest's robe (kesa)

Edo or Meiji era
late 19th century

Object Place: Japan


Height x width: 107 x 210 cm (42 1/8 x 82 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silk, gilt paper; 4and1 satin weave with continuous supplementary wefts bound in 1/4 twill order (shuchin); pieced and appliquéd

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Seven-columned kesa with decoration of shokko patterns. Columns, dividing bands, border: red silk figured satin-weave ground with interlocking octagons and squared shokko. Two types of floral patterns decorate the interiors of the octagonal motifs, and the seven treasures (shippo) and diamond patterns ornament the interiors of the square motifs. Shiten, niten: white silk three-harness warp-faced twill weave ground with motifs of Sanskirit characters surrounded by simplified dragon forms. Lining: white silk four-harness warp-faced twill ground with patterns of reversed swastikas in twill weave.


By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911)

[1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection