Matsue (mätsōˈā) [key], city (1990 pop. 142,956), capital of Shimane prefecture, SW Honshu, Japan, a port on the Sea of Japan. It is an important distribution center and a popular tourist spot. Landmarks include the 17th cent. Matsue Castle and a museum containing a collection of the manuscripts and letters of Lafcadio Hearn, who lived in Matsue for 15 months in the late 19th cent. and wrote about the city and recorded its folktales.