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masa@
KEY WORD :@art history / paintings
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Also written . An abbreviation of masagami , also written . A smooth grain, lightweight, off-white paper made from the fiber of mulberry trees *choshi used for most full-color woodblock prints *nishiki-e ъG. See *ukiyo-e G. Sometimes masa may contain a small amount of other fibers besides mulberry, kouzo . The distinction between the terms *housho and masa is not clear. Some say that masa is a type of housho, while the others say that the term masa was generically applied to all but the highest grades of kouzo paper which were called housho. The terms masa and housho alone or in combination, for example with local place names of production, were applied to a wide spectrum of paper of only slightly different quality and sheet size. For example, records say that iyomasa ɗ\ was replaced in the 1830's by iyo bousho ɗ\ as a widely used paper for nishiki-e. Another account says that iyo bousho was just another name for masa. In any case, the old province of Iyo ɗ\ (now Ehime prefecture) seems to have been a major production center of masa paper. Paper produced for nishiki-e from the mid-19c at Hodogaya ۓyJ (now in Kanagawa prefecture) and Otowa H (now in Tokyo) was called jimasa n. The inferior quality of this paper may have helped to give masa its present reputation for low quality. An added complication comes from the use of the terms masa and housho to indicate size as well as type of paper. The term masa, also honmasa { or masaban is often used for a standard large format *ooban 唻 size, also called oonishiki .
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