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Ōta Masamitsu (1892-1975, also known as Ōta Gako) was one of the masters of the shin-hanga movement. His work consisted mostly of kabuki actor prints that emphasized the individual personality of the actors, showcased through rich colors and exquisite patterns of complex design.
Masamitsu had a life-long involvement with kabuki theater, illustrating volumes on major kabuki plays and famous kabuki costumes. His two most important set of actor prints, Showa Butai Sugata (1950) and Gendai Butai Geika (1955) were published by the Banchoro studio. These sets, of twelve prints each, exhibit a very high level of realism, achieved through the use of western techniques of perspective and through beautiful shading (bokashi) and attention to detail.
Critically acclaimed and artistically and technically superb, Masamitsu’s work has been compared many times to Natori Shunsen’s, and his pieces are luxuriously printed and presented.