|KEY WORD : art history / paintings|
|Also written 政. An abbreviation of masagami 柾紙, also written 政紙. A smooth grain, lightweight, off-white paper made from the fiber of mulberry trees *choshi 楮紙 used for most full-color woodblock prints *nishiki-e 錦絵. See *ukiyo-e 浮世絵. Sometimes masa may contain a small amount of other fibers besides mulberry, kouzo 楮. The distinction between the terms *housho 奉書 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 伊予政 was replaced in the 1830's by iyo bousho 伊予奉書 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 伊予 (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 保土ヶ谷 (now in Kanagawa prefecture) and Otowa 音羽 (now in Tokyo) was called jimasa 地政. 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 本政 or masaban 政判 is often used for a standard large format *ooban 大判 size, also called oonishiki 大錦.|
(C)2001 Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System. No reproduction or republication without written permission.