Kusa (草): 4 Possible Meanings of the Japanese Word

Kusa (草), originally meaning grass or weed, is a word sometimes seen in the names of Wagashi (和菓子: traditional Japanese confections), like Kusa Daifuku (草大福) or Kusa Mochi (草餅).

As guessed from it, the word can be a prefix in the Japanese language, but we use it differently from the above in some cases, including Kusa Yakyu (草野球). 

Also, nowadays, the Japanese Kanji character 草 frequently appears as slang on SNS like Twitter, but do you know what it stands for?

Meaning of Kusa (草) in Japanese

Kusa Meaning in Japanese

So far, you can realize that 草 (Kusa) has four different meanings in Japanese. Specifically,

  1. The original meaning is grass or weed.
  2. In the name of Wagashi (like 草餅 or 草大福), 草 usually refers to Yomogi (蓬: mugwort) or a herb made from the leaves of the Japanese mugwort plant, as mentioned in this article.
  3. Also, when used as a prefix in names like Kusa Yakyuu (草野球: meaning sandlot/amateur baseball) or Kusa Keiba (草競馬: local horse race), 草 can mean not being full-fledged or professional.
  4. As an internet slang, 草 is equivalent to the “lol” used by English speakers. 草 has another expression, “w” (looking like a blade of grass), derived from warai/笑, meaning laugh. The transition is 笑 → warai → w → 草.

(Reference Pages: Goo Japanese Dictionary 草 (くさ), Otona Life )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.