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Ceremonial Priest’s Robe, kesa

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Edo period, ca. 1700JapanSilk and paper with gold leaf H 118 cm; W 197 cm

This robe, which belonged to a Buddhist priest or monk, is assembled from several pieces of fabric and material, much like a patchwork quilt. While it has been woven from lavish material, this patchwork method is reminiscent of poverty and humility. A Chinese motif of flower baskets and peonies adorns this robe. The wearer would drape the robe from the left shoulder diagonally across the body.