Over the past couple of years, nearby Sakaiminato Port has become for a host for a number of cruise ships, and as part of the day tours available for one or two of those lines, there is a visit to the Abe Eishiro Memorial Museum which includes a brief paper making experience. It’s something big groups can accomplish quickly, and they get an easy to carry souvenir that will likely outlast their own lives (or at least, I feel that’s a good guess because this paper can last a thousand years). I went along to help interpret and move these workshops along smoothly and make the most of everyone’s time, and thankfully I had the chance to jump in and try it myself between tour groups.

You start with a frame on top of a screen, with which you scoop the mulch, and then shake a little to even out the material and drain the water from the edges.

Once the material is pretty settled, you drain out the rest of the excess water from the corner.

After that, you remove the frame and transfer the blocks of mulch to a dry piece of cloth. Even if you hold it upside down the mulch won’t fall off, but with a little press it transfers very easily.

After that, you fold up the excess cloth over them, and blot out the water as you flatten the two square piles of mulch.

Next, we had everyone write their names on little tags to press into the wet material, which could be easily pulled off later when the paper is dry. I liked to personalize mine a little more than that.

The paper is then quite simply peeled off the cloth.

The staff then takes the wet papers and applies them to the hot drier, where they are made crisped for about twenty minutes while everyone enjoys the rest of the museum.

And that’s it!

Now the question is how to use these papers, but I suppose I have my whole life to figure that out.