18th century (made)


Length: 191.8 cm, Width: 109.2 cm, Length: 75.5 in, Width: 43 in

FE.24-1971 EAS

Kesa, brocaded silk, Japan, Edo period, 18th century

A brocaded silk kesa, or Buddhist priest’s robe, woven with a rich floral pattern of chrysanthemum, peony, pomegranate and camellia medallions, on a pale cream ground. The floral patterns are woven with silks in shades of blue, green and orange. There are six brocaded square inserts of unrelated design, four with dragon medallions and two with sections of crane (?) medallions. These are intended to give a patched appearance as it was felt inappropriate that priests should be seen wearing new and perfect robes. The kesa is constructed in the normal fashion with a border of approximately 14 cm (5.5 inches) width, and the central area is made up of strips of varying widths. The kesa is lined with a thin orange silk on which there is an ink inscription stating that in the 11th year of the Meiji period (1878), a certain Yamazaki Sutematsu contributed 5 Yen to the temple in memory of his parents. With this the temple bought two vestments, this kesa being one of them.

Purchased. Registered File number 1971/3089.

Location: In Storage

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