Buddhist priest's robe (kesa)

Edo period
late 19th to early 20th century

Object Place: Japan


Height x width: 112 x 193 cm (44 1/8 x 76 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silk, gilt paper; lampas with 2/1 twill foundation and 1/2 twill supplimentary weave; pieced and appliquéd

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Seven-columned kesa with decoration of clouds and dragons. Dark blue satin ground. The design of clouds and dragons is woven with pink, green, red, yellow, white, brown and blue silk and narrow strips of gilt paper. Made up of many pieces. Sewed to the garment are five squares of red silk, on which is woven with gold thread, a circular medallion of lotus flowers and leaves. Lined with green silk. Twill weave with supplementary pattern weft.


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