The Portrait of Prince Shotoku painted by Genso Okuda, seen on the left wall as you walk into the hall, was inspired by a Nara period (710-794) painting, Portrait of Prince Shotoku and Two Princes, a work owned by the Imperial Household Agency. Since Prince Shotoku encouraged papermaking to help spread Buddhism, some regions making Washi (traditional Japanese paper) revere the prince as a father figure in the world of papermaking. The work is painted on one super large-sized paper sheet, measuring six tatami mats (3.6 × 2.7 m) and handmade by the Daiinshu-Seishi Co., Ltd. (Tottori Prefecture).
To the right in the hall, a rag digester is on display. Formerly clothing rags were simmered in such tanks to prepare raw materials for papermaking. This particular tank was in service until 1965 in the Gifu Mill of the Tokushu Paper Mfg. Co., Ltd.
1st Exhibition Gallery: Modern Paper Manufacturing Industry
This gallery displays paper raw materials and products, and the manufacturing processes and machinery used in today’s paper industry. You can also watch a video introducing the papermaking process.
2nd Exhibition Gallery: A Schoolroom for Paper
This interactive exhibition designed for elementary school children explains about the structure of paper and recycling in an easy-to-understand way. PC quizzes and a Q&A corner allow children to enjoy learning about paper.
3rd Exhibition Gallery: History of Paper
This gallery displays materials written upon before the invention of paper, as well as the birth and spread of paper, the history and manufacturing process of Japanese Washi, the history of paper in the world, and other paper-related matters. In the hands-on corner, you can touch different types of paper and experience their different feel and textures.
This section displays a unique collection from the early Meiji period, including a paper mill gate, signboards of paper traders, and stone monuments.
In the garden to the side of the museum, you can see plants that are commonly used as the raw materials of paper. * The display of plants will vary depending on the season.