Buddhist priest's robe (kesa)

Edo period
19th century

Object Place: Japan


HxW:115.5 x 202 cm (45 1/2 x 79 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Appliquéd Shuchin, silk, gilt paper; 4and1 satin weave with continuous supplementary wefts bound in 1/4 twill order; pieced and appliquéd

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Seven-columned kesa with decoration of clouds and dragons. Columns, dividing bands, border: red silk figured satin-weave ground with cloud and dragon motifs. The comparatively diminutive rendering of clouds and dragons in simplified rectangular shapes repeats vertically and horizontally. The metallic yarn is a brilliant, strong, flat gold-leafed thread. Shiten, niten: red silk twill ground with woven-in butterfly roundels and cloud patterns in supplementary wefts of flat gold-leafed paper thread. The butterfly roundels alternate with gold patterns filling the interstitial spaces. Lining: White silk twill weave with a diaper pattern of interlocking swastikas forming a key fret design known as sayagata. A looped cord is attached to the lining.


Gift of Mrs. Bliss Knapp to the MFA on March 9, 1950

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Bliss Knapp