Igo & Shogi
history of Kusatsu
the old Kusatsu district, buildings were built
in such a way that the second floor overhung the
first (made from protruding beams in the same
way as with ship-building).
In the inns in Kusatsu, these protruding beams
were carved and turned into decorations.
The carvings in our ryokan were particularly intricate,
depicting designs such as dragons (the Black Warrior)
etc, and previous generations took great care
of these and other engravings. However, during
the time when wood was still burnt for fires,
one unfortunate bath attendant broke them up to
use as firewood. What you can see here is one
of the larger pieces that was recovered from the
resulting matchwood (see photo). We think it depicts
the Black Warrior from the Buddhist Five Cycles
engraving is another piece that was preserved
undamaged.@The reverse ¨
reverse side is made for playing a kind of dice
game. Both sides are carved, and I remember
hearing that is to help maintain the shape of
the board and prevent it warping, but I can't
be sure because it was a good ten or twenty
This printing block was used
for making prints when Kirishimaya operated
as a souvenir shop. When my father was a child
he was made to make prints using this printing
block and he remembered that he "didn't
particularly enjoy it!"
You can use
this printing block to make your own prints! Please
ask for more information
On the way to Kusatsu Hot
As appears in the Hizakurige series (Shank's
Mare) - Volume 10
An article by Ikku Jippensha in his famous book
introducing the Kirishimaya in the Edo period
This book of Gidayu (a style
of traditional chanted narration) telling the
story of Chushingura belonged to my great-grandfather,
who was born in 1838.
He used to chant Gidayu himself during the Meiji
may bring back memories for some customers,
but actually this hibachi (brazier) is still
This safe was used up till about
30 years ago to hold customers' valuables.
Natural Korean ginseng pickled
in distilled spirit and served here
Ryokan - with the Shiriyaki (bottom burning) Bath and
Old-style half-polished rice, it's the best for your
Chairman of the Jikan-yu Preservation Society
Leader of the Yumomi Presentation Society
The roads in Kusatsu-machi are narrow and sloping,
and many of them are one-way streets.
If you have any problems on arrival, give us a call
and we will direct you. But please drive safely -
refrain from using your mobile telephone whilst driving.
The weather is colder here in the mountains than in
the cities, so please bring adequate clothing. The
air feels cold to your skin right until July.