A Cotton Pilgrim's Jacket: Stamped History of Pilgrimage

$175.00 USD

mid twentieth century
36" x 51", 91.5 cm x 129.5 cm

This is a hand stitched, white cotton ohenrogi or a pilgrim's coat.

This coat is of a type that was worn by pilgrims who visited a prescribed series of Buddhist temples: there are several such pilgrimage routes in Japan and there is more about this practice to be found here.

The cotton of the coat is commercially loomed and the coat is rich in stamped images and writing.

Much of the stamped writing on the upper half of the jacket is done in bonji a type of Sanskrit. This bonji indicates that the pilgrimage route was to esoteric Buddhist temples whose practices and origin relate to the ritualistic Tibetan Buddhist strain.

The bottom half of the coat shows stamped sutras or scriptural Buddhist texts while the center of the back of the coat shows hand written kanji, probably taken from a sutra.

The pictorial stamps on the proper front of the coat show bonji seed syllables resting on lotuses while there are two holy men also shown in a similar format, at least one of them being Kukai, which is a popular name for the monk who brought esoteric Buddhism to Japan in the ninth century. The back shows Kannon and two attendants.

There are a few red stamps that were received at a temple the pilgrim visited.

**Please note: the white cotton shows a spray of what can be called "foxing" or slight discoloration. The bottom half of the proper left hand side of the front of the coat shows significant darkening which on the photos may appear as a shadow but in fact is ingrained into the fabric of the cotton.

A beautifully designed coat worn by a person who intended to visit and pray at several well-established Buddhist temples in Japan.