Buddhist priest's robe (kesa)

Edo Period
19th century

Object Place: Japan


Height x width: 109 x 205 cm (42 15/16 x 80 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silk, gilt paper Columns: 4/1 satin foundation patterned with weft floats bound in 1/2 twill order and continuous supplementary wefts (gilt paper) bound in 1/4 twill order Dividing bands: 4/1 satin weave patterned by continuous (gilt paper) and discontinuous (silk) supplementary wefts bound in 1/2 twill order Pieced and appliquéd (shuchin)

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Seven-columned kesa with decoration of peonies. Columns: brown silk figured satin-weave ground with peony branches and flowering plant motifs. The peony branches alternate with Western-style bending boughs in a repeat pattern. Dividing bands, border: dark blue silk figured satin-weave ground with designs of peony branches. Shiten, niten: white silk ground with woven-in patterns of double-tendrilled scrolling vines with peonies in supplementary wefts of flat gold-leafed paper thread. Lining: degummed red wefts.


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