Buddhist priest's robe (kesa)

Edo period
19th century

Object Place: Japan


Height x width: 105 x 202 cm (41 5/16 x 79 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

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

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Seven-columned kesa with decoration of tortoise shell hexagons. Columns, dividing bands, border: light green figured silk with patterns of interlocking tortoise shell hexagons (kikko tsunagi) and lozenges (matsukawabishi). Interlocking geometric patterns (shukko) and cloud motifs fill in the lozenge patterns created by the large overlapping hexagons. Shiten, niten: not extant. Lining: silk plain-weave fabric of degummed red warps and degummed indigo wefts. Inscription in ink, on the edge of the lining.


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