Igo & Shogi
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The origin of the name Kusatsu
| There is an
abundance of theories, so we'll just tell you main ones below.
The Buddhist sacred writings Daihan Nyakyou state, "In
the south there is a famous hot spring called Kusatsu".
So might this area have been named Kusatsu by monks?
Does it originate from the language of the Ainu people (the
first race to inhabit Japan)?
For example, in Shigakogen there is a hot spring called Hoppo
Onsen. The "Hoppo" part of the name means "hot
spring" in Ainu.
In Japanese the word for "smelly" is kusai. Could
the name Kusatsu have come from the hot spring being originally
known as the "smelly spring"?
Did it originate from the word kusatsutsumi, used as a memory
keyword for a traditional Japanese tanka (poem) regarding
In the olden days, Kusatsu used to be pronounced as Kusaji,
but recently it has come to be pronounced Kusatsu.
This is true throughout Japan, but perhaps it is just down
to the fact that we no longer pronounce our consonants clearly.
Hot Spring, Kirishimaya Ryokan, Director: Ph.D.Yoshiaki Nakazawa.