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  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    20th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Synthetic fabric, woven

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Rev. Zenko Croysdale

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This set of Zen Buddhist robes was donated to the Museum by Zenkō Croysdale. Zenkō Croysdale (1919-2007) was an English man, born Charles G. Croysdale, who lived as a Zen novice and priest in Japan from 1971-1976. During this period, he stayed in several temples each belonging to different schools of Zen Buddhism. He chronologically practiced in: Antai-ji, Kyoto (Soto school), Ryūtaku-ji (Rinzai School), Manpuku-ji, Kyoto, (Obaku school) and Hakuho-ji Chigasaki (Soto School). His Tokudo, ceremony that marks a practitioner’s ordination as a Zen priest, took place on April, 8th, 1976. After his time in Japan, he travelled to India and Thailand and subsequently returned to the UK in 1980. In September 2001, Zenko Croysdale donated to the Museum his set of Zen monk’s robes and accessories.

Such a set of monk’s clothing and utilitarian objects are rare items in Museum’s collection and offer a valuable insight into the daily life of Zen monk. The set includes
A black outer robe (koromo) in black cotton with black obi.
A off-white plain cotton Kimono and white obi.
A white plain weave cotton undershirt (juban)
A pair of tradition socks (tabi) and wooden clogs (geta).
A pair of straw sandals and white cotton leg protectors worn by the monk during their daily alms.
A straw hat.
A black Kesa, a black and white bowing mat ( zagu), a black silk mini kesa ( rakusu) in a silk multicoloured brocade pouch,
A paper fan, plastic hanger, black lacquered wooden bowl for the alms and a stoneware incense box.
A Kesa represents Sakyamuni Buddha’s original robe, and is a ceremonial shawl worn over a koromo. Kesa are constructed in a quilt-like manner with several pieces of fabric sewn together.

Physical description

Kesa, black fabric.

Place of Origin

Japan (made)


20th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Synthetic fabric, woven


Height: 127 cm, Length: 200 cm

Descriptive line

Kesa, fabric, Japan, 20th century






East Asia Collection

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