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.


In my time here in the San’in region, I’ve often heard of the Abe Eishiro Memorial Museum out in the Yakumo area of southern Matsue, but I never prioritized going because I figured I had so many other things to do besides go look at paper. But it was worth it for more than just the paper itself!


The memorial museum is tucked in a quiet neighborhood along the mountains, and the rice fields on a drizzling day in spring are just as much as sight as the tourism facility itself.

There was an array of wildlife around the area, including a giant dragonfly that I rescued when it got in as someone was opening the screen doors. Just outside of the main entrance there was a little tray of guppies, and another little fellow who many of us thought was just part of the pottery.

As for where that dragonfly got confused? Here in the main lobby and gift shop, in the gentle atmosphere created by the washi (Japanese paper) screens.

But what is that on the screen? Another confused bug?

Nope. Just paper! One of many decorations along the butterfly-laden window.

Of course, there is also plenty of paper for sale to oogle at, as well as crafts made out of said craft paper.

And it besides the gift shop and museum, there is also a workshop for visitors to try out making paper themselves. This also has its own rustic charm.

My last entry about this spot will focus on the paper making experience.