I have a question regarding original title of Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood movie. This title is pronounced "Kumonosu-jō" but written as 蜘蛛巣城. Why is possessive の particle missing here and the title not written as 蜘蛛の巣城? Is it because it's a name of a place? Is omission of particles in names a common thing? Are there any rules regarding this?

  • Apparently の is also omitted in city names like 西宮市 and 一宮市.
    – Presto
    Commented Mar 8, 2021 at 2:16

1 Answer 1


The hidden の in proper names and/or fixed words have been asked several times on this site, such as:

The reason why such a spelling tradition exists is that, formal Japanese documents had been written for a long time in all kanji, imitating Chinese, and Chinese does not have a consistent genitive (possessive) marker. This is partially applicable to English too, where we can say spider web without any affix in the middle. In Japanese, the same notion is represented by くものす (with mandatory の) and you can certainly insert its kanji rendering (like 之), but most times they did not, as it would not result in ambiguity because the readers and writers naturally know what Japanese words exist or not.

The movie's plot is seemingly set in the Sengoku period, which the genitive-less 蜘蛛巣城 beseems much better than the modernist 蜘蛛の巣城.

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