The Costume Museum Kyoto Japan Costume History in Japan
The Heian Period  
54 - Buddhist monk in ceremonial robe, soken and gojo-gesa.
The Costume Museum Kyoto JapanThe Costume Museum Kyoto Japan
1 soken
2 soken no ran
3 kyutai no ran no amaoi
4 gojo-gesa
5 gojo-gesa no igi or himo
6 gojo-gesa no ko-igi or ko-himo
7 sashinuki or nubakawa
8 juzu rosary
9 hi-ogi fan
The "soken" (=plain silk robe) was designed in the Heian Era as vestment worn when visiting to the Imperial Palace for the religious service of state. The robe, which must be pure clothes, eliminates "e-jiki (=impure color) in accordance with the Buddhistic original idea. Its form is similar to that of Emperor's "sai-e (=costume for Shintoism event)." Only one difference is the style around the neck; the "soken" is "tari-kubi" (=square neck) "sai-e" is "maru-kubi (=round neck). " The features of this style are raw silk, non-pattern, and "hitoe with mo" (=detached skirt); "shitagasane" (=undergarment) is worn. The length of "soken" is a little longer than a body length and the priest wears "sashinuki" (=divided skirt) like court nobles. The priest in the photograph wears "gojo-gesa (=five-paneled Buddhist surplice)." He has a "hi-ogi (=fan)" in his hand ["Chukei (=fan) replaced it after the Muromachi Era (1338-1573) and a "nenju (=rosary)" wearing "shitozu (=tabi socks)." In the next time, "han-soken (=semi-raw silk robe)" in the same style and size of the original "soken" was designed. The"soken (=plain silk robe) is called "cho soken" (=long soken), and there is "ate-iro "(=rank-indicating colors)" or sumi-iro" (=Japan ink black colors) as a color of it.