Buddhist priest's robe (kesa)

Edo or Meiji era
19th to early 20th century

Object Place: Japan


HxW: 116.3 x 211.8 cm (45 13/16 x 83 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silk, 7and1 satin weave patterned by weft floats and complementary wefts bound in 1/3 twill order (shuchin); pieced and appliquéd

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Seven-columned kesa with decorations of birds and floral arabesques. Columns, dividing bands, border: red silk figured satin-weave ground with patterns of abstract double-headed bird motifs (possibly condors) and Western-style vertically-oriented scrolling vines. Thought to have been woven in China and influenced by European textile motifs; however, the motifs also resemble South American and Mexican textile designs. Shiten, niten: green silk figured satin-weave ground with patterns of reversed swastikas and chrysanthemum arabesques. One of three threads is lifted to form the pattern. Lining: Striped plain-weave silk (modern addition).


Gift to the MFA on March 9, 1950

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Bliss Knapp