[Edo period Kesa. Lampas, silk; squares:silk satin, brocaded, silk and gilt paper-wrapped thread. The Met.]
One of the pieces, this patchwork-patterned 18th-century Japanese Buddhist vestment, is a great example of the cultural crossovers seen throughout the exhibition. The dominant textile here is Chinese silk -- cloth that was actually produced for the European market with a lace-patterned design -- but the dragon motif on the red patches is quintessentially Chinese. The Met says that while the Western-style silk is a surprise, the Japanese had traditionally favored kesa made from imported Chinese fabrics. The Chinese silks would have felt exotic at the time.