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Hazard maps, place names, and a chronicle of a disaster foretold

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The place name Oshikiri, which is fairly common in eastern Japan, may have derived from the verb "oshikiru," which means "to overwhelm," according to Yusuke Kusuhara, many of whose published books are about the names of towns and other geographical locations.

Kusuhara theorizes that areas bearing this name likely have a history of having their local levees or embankments "overwhelmed" by massive amounts of water.

He goes on to note that the same could have been the case with other place names that start with "oshi," such Oshikawa, Oshinuma, Oshihori, Oshido and Oshida.

I should imagine that the people who gave these names to their........

© The Asahi Shimbun