Buddhist priest's robe (kesa)

Meiji era
late 19th to early 20th century

Object Place: Japan


Height x width: 113 x 220 cm (44 1/2 x 86 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silk; lampas with plain-weave foundation and 1/3 twill supplementary weave; pieced and appliquéd

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Seven-columned kesa with decoration of interlocking seven jewels. Columns, dividing bands, border, shiten: light brown silk ground with figured patterns of the interlocking seven jewels motif (shippo tsunagi). Diamond-shaped flowers embellish the centers of the interlocking circles, and affronted dragons appear in the interstitial spaces. Possibly a variation of the linked hexagons and squares motif known as shokko. Niten: none. Lining: light red plain-weave silk (machine woven).


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