Fiber Buddhist Monk Cape (Kesa)
This fiber Buddhist monk cape, or kesa, was made in Japan likely at the beginning of the 19th century, during the Edo Period (1615–1868).
Kesa are rectangular outer garments constructed from small pieces of fabric that Buddhist monks and priests often wore. Their patchwork construction refers to the humble patched garment the Buddha wore, though kesa made during the Edo Period and Meiji Period (1868–1912) tend to be made out of much more luxurious materials. This kesa is much more austere than many others made in the same period. It is made from fiber instead of sumptuous cloth.
Kesa from the Edo and Meiji Periods tend to be made out of many pieces of the same material, but are arranged so their reconstruction into the final garment create additional patterns. These final garments were usually worn draped over the left shoulder and tucked under the right armpit.
Circa: 19th C.
Material: Manilla hemp
Condition: Some patches, minor discoloration, good
Dimensions: 58" x 30"
Inventory number: TX3789