A Tattered 19th Century Buddhist Oohi: Silk Vestment
late nineteenth century
56 1/2" x 11 1/2", 143.5 cm x 29 cm
This distressed silk textile is part of the Japanese Buddhist priest's raiment: it was worn draped over the priest's arm. Those of you who are familiar with kesa will recognize that this accessory is hand stitched in the same manner as the larger vestment, the kesa.
This oohi is hand stitched from a beautifully colored, delicate and now fragile brocade silk which is figured with chrysanthemums and peonies in shimmering, metallic gold, green, blue and white on a dull orange/ochre colored ground.
Looking at this oohi you can see that the silk has split in many areas on its surface and it shows some loss to one of its four corners, on the proper, lower right.
Still, this is a really lovely, Japanese Buddhist vestment with good age that has certainly been witness to a lifetime of Buddhist ritual.