Buddhist priest's robe (kesa)

Edo period
latter half of 18th tofirst half of 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, gilt paper filé, silvered paper filé; 2/1 twill weave patterned with continuous (gilt paper) and discontinuous (silk) supplementary wefts bound in 1/2 twill order (karaori); pieced

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Seven-columned kesa with decoration of peony arabesques. Columns, dividing bands, border: red silk ground patterned with large peony arabesque in supplementary wefts. The peony stems are executed in white supplementary wefts, the leaves with green supplementary wefts, and the blossoms are basically rendered in gold and purple supplementary wefts. However, the color used to outline the flowers changes, thereby providing a variation in motifs. Although the weave structure can be termed karaori, the supplementary wefts do not float. Both thin, flat gold-leafed paper thread and gold-wrapped thread are used. Shiten, niten: the areas where the shiten and niten usually are located have not faded, possibly indicating the original position of these elements. Also, in some areas, the borders have not faded. This could be due to a later refashioning or restoration. Lining: Silk twill weave with wisteria motifs (modern addition).


Gift to the MFA on February 15, 1917

Credit Line

Denman Waldo Ross Collection