The blessings of volcanoes
that have nurtured life
One of the most unique forms in the world
Arareishi Production area of Matsushiro Mine
The aragonite from the Matsushiro Mine, which occurs as spherical clusters of translucent crystals, sometimes as large as a volleyball, is unique in its shape and size, the likes of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Aragonite is a mineral composed of calcium carbonate, and its composition is the same as limestone (calcite), which is the primary raw material of cement.
The Matsushiro Mine, which produced aragonite, was also a mining site for gypsum from the Meiji era to the 1960s. Shimane Prefecture once boasted Japan's largest production volume of gypsum, with mines in Oda City and Izumo City supporting production, and Matsushiro Mine being one of the main mines. Aragonite occurs near gypsum deposits and was prized as an ornamental object due to its unique shape. The site is now designated as a national natural monument under the name of “Arareishi Production area of Matsushiro Mine,” but the mine shafts have been closed and are currently inaccessible.
- The main raw material of cement is limestone, and gypsum is used as an auxiliary solidifying material. The Sanyo and Kitakyushu regions are major domestic producers of limestone and cement in Japan. Gypsum from Oda City was mainly shipped to cement factories such as those in Yamaguchi Prefecture.