Masamitsu Ota, Portrait of Actor Nakamura Utaemon V, Aspects of the Showa Stage

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Artist: Masamitsu Ota (1892 - 1975)
Title: Portrait of Actor Nakamura Utaemon V (1866 - 1940) as Masaoka
Series: Aspects of the Showa Stage
Publisher: Miyake Kosho-do
Size: 28 x 42.8 cm

Original Japanese woodblock print.

Ota 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 colours and exquisite patterns of complex design. Ota had a lifelong involvement with kabuki theatre, 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.

Masamitsu Ota


Ota was one of the lesser known masters of the shin hanga movement. His body of work is predominantly kabuki actor prints that emphasized the individual personality of the actors. This was achieved through rich colours and elegant designs with complex patterns. His two most important set of actor prints, Showa Butai Sugata (1950) and Gendai Butai Geika (1955) were published by the Banchoro studio. These twelve prints sets exhibit a very high level of realism, achieved through the use of western techniques of perspective, through gradation, known as bokashi, and a refined attention to detail.

Ota’s connection with Kabuki spanned across his whole working life, illustrating volumes on major kabuki plays and famous kabuki costumes. His work is quite rare in the Japanese antiques market and are highly recommended works for any Japanese art collector or Kabuki enthusiast.

More Information
Print FormatDai-Oban
ArtistMasamitsu Ota
SubjectKabuki Theatre
Dimensions28 x 42.8 cm
Condition ReportVery light creases. Pinholes on the left margin.