| Kanto's Kusatsu Hot Spring in is located at
an altitude of 1200m on the slopes of Mt Shirane, and it has
the interesting geographical and meteorological feature of
having a temperature somewhere between that of Sapporo and
Hakodate. The volatile springs are extremely hot and contain
highly acidic sulfate alums and copperas. This kind of acidic
spring is very rare worldwide and has beneficial effects on
various types of illness. However, in recent times there has
been a tendency to overlook such benefits.
One of the reasons for this is down to a split within the
Japanese Hot Spring Temperature and Physical Study Group.
Many members disassociated themselves from the group and formed
two new, separate groups - the Japanese Rehabilitation Study
Group and the Japanese Rheumatism Study Group. Through this
dispersal of members, a decrease in the number of people belonging
to the Japanese Hot Spring Temperature and Physical Study
Group led to less information being spread about the benefits
of hot spring cures. Another reason is that as hot springs
became seen as recreation facilities, and as the hot spring
cure became less economically viable, its usage became more
and more suppressed.
I've also heard of dermatologists who do not believe in the
power of the hot spring, and who dissuade patients with skin
complaints (a condition which could really benefit from the
hot spring's power) from paying a visit..
As a result, the lack of knowledge about the aims and effects
of hot spring cures has become a concern and it is for this
reason that we have compiled this information.
I'd like those people who think they already know about hot
springs to read it and reassess their way of thinking.
Bathing took place at 52 up until the Meiji period, but
after investigation, the professor of physical medicine
Professor Misawa of Tokyo University set the highest safe
bathing temperature as 48. His findings have been adhered
to right up to the present day.
It's a great shame, however, that after seeing accidents
caused by staying in the bath too long, and by inappropriate
behavior (such as bathing after drinking too much alcohol),
some doctors forbid their patients to bathe. (omission)
(Quoted from a report by Professor Nonobe*, Gunma University's
Director of Research into Kusatsu Hot Spring, and a report
by Professor Nonobe, Departmental Chief of Numato Insurance
*members of the same family
For more details, please refer to both scientists' reports.
The momi-ita (paddles) used by these scientists were 7shaku
7sun (231cm) long, 1shaku (30cm) wide and Wbu (2.4cm) thick,
but among the Jikan-yu Preservation Society we have found
various literature and photographic evidence documenting
the existence of paddles measuring 6shaku x 1shaku x 1sun
(180cm x 30cm x 3cm), so we tried reviving their usage (as
displayed in the town's station and at Netsu-no-yu).
Jikan-yu is the most austere bathing method out of all
the hot spring bathing types available. It's absolutely
essential to bathe under the supervision of an experienced
guide and its very dangerous not to follow instructions.
Recently many articles about jikan-yu have appeared in magazines
and on websites etc, but these are things based on limited
knowledge and individual interpretation, and should not
be given the benefit of publication.