Buddhist Vestment (Kesa) with Pattern of Flowing Water, Chrysanthemums, Fishing Nets, and Waterwheels

Edo period (1615–1868)
18th century
Twill-weave silk brocaded with silk (karaori)
Overall: 45 x 85 in. (114.3 x 215.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1919
Accession Number:
Not on view
The elements of the multicolored design of this textile—sinuous streams, reeds, fishing nets, chrysanthemums, and waterwheels—remain clearly recognizable on its now-faded red background. Buddhist vestments were usually made from donated garments or other textiles that were cut into pieces and assembled into patchwork configurations. This kesa consists of a type of cloth called karaori, in which parts of the design are brocaded in long, floating silk wefts of many colors. The same kind of cloth was used for the type of Noh costume also called a karaori, usually worn as an outer robe for a female role.
[ Nomura Shōjiro , Kyoto until 1915; sold to Sargent]; Porter E. Sargent , Boston, MA (until 1919; sold to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Flowing Streams: Scenes from Japanese Arts and Life," December 21, 2006–June 3, 2007.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Japanese Mandalas: Emanations and Avatars," June 18, 2009–November 30, 2009.