The other day I was at the local hot springs bath, washing myself after getting a haircut. (Barber shops located on the premises of hot springs public baths, allowing you to get clean immediately after cutting your hair, are one of the greatest advancements of human civilization so far.) I was washing my hair with the little showerhead wedged under my knee while I grabbed items from my expertly-packed furo basket, which caused the man washing next to me to turn in surprise and say, “You seem quite experienced at using Japanese baths. You are a real tsuu.” A tsuu (note the long vowel) is a word that means connoisseur or expert in a certain field, and yes, I am a bit of an onsen-tsuu after going to hot springs for so many years. The word can be used for just about any field, and if you fancy yourself a serious fan of sushi you might be a sushi-tsuu, while someone who really knows baseball is a yakyu-tsuu. In Kabuki and Takarazuka, traditional Japanese theatre performed by men and women respectively, there is a class of fan who really knows the ins and outs of each performance well, and they have special seats available for them. So, what are you a tsuu of?
A soba-tsuu for example always knows where to find the most expertly hand-rolled Japanese noodles.