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Kesa, Buddhist priest's mantle

Kesa, Buddhist priest's mantle

  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    1840-1890 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Polychrome figured silk

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is a kesa, the rectangular garment worn by Japanese Buddhist priests. Kesa are made of a sewn patchwork of cloth, the arrangement of the sections of fabric into columns surrounded by a border serving as a mandala, a symbolic rendering of the universe. The central column represents the Buddha, the two columns either side his attendants, and the four patches at the corners the cardinal directions. The act of sewing the garment is in itself a devotional pursuit.

Physical description

Buddhist robe (kesa) patterned with scrolling floral stems on a green ground

Place of Origin

Japan (made)


1840-1890 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Polychrome figured silk


Length: 115 cm, Width: 200 cm approx.

Descriptive line

Tex, Japan, woven




East Asia Collection

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