(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

Friday, August 19

Previous senryu

  1. イチローを越えたと二浪の息子言い

“Surpassed Ichiro / (‘first son’)!” declares my son, the / niro (‘twice-failed’).

This senryu puns on a similar sounding Japanese name & a word that is extremely difficult for learners to decipher. But, thanks to the excellent hints provided by @Myria and @weaverZ, as well as an equally good translation by the latter the meaning became clear in short order. Excellent collaboration and teamwork! お疲れ様です。

Confirmation and comments on the senryu from my 日本語先生:

野球で素晴らしい業績を持つ「イチロー」だけれど、息子は「一浪(いちろう)」ではなく「二浪(にろう)」なので「イチローを超えた」(「一(いち)」より上の「二(に)」)と自虐的 に言ったのだと思います。



  • The pun: イチロー is the nickname of the famous baseball player Ichiro (一郎, or いちろう, or 一ろう) Suzuki. The son of the author of this senryu has failed the Japanese university entrance exam a second time, which makes him a 二浪 (にろう), short for 2nd time 浪人 (see meaning 2). Since に (二) is bigger than いち (一), the son says jokingly that he, にろう、has surpassed Ichiro Suzuki, who is, after all, only an いちろう。
  • Translating this senryu into English without footnotes is impossible due to the embedded pun which is based on words for a Japanese name and contemporary University entrance exam phenomenon
  • The 5-7-5 English translation captures the key point of the original, but is more an explanation of the original, rather than a senryu in its own right. As they say, しょうがないよ! Still, students of 日本語 may be able to get the meaning by reading it alongside the original.
  • The translation is a modified version of @fallynleaf 's, with changes for clarification, as noted in a separate response.
  • TIL from my Japanese friend that in Japan イチロー, written so in kana, always refers to the baseball player. She also mentions that Ichiro Suzuki is known for his arduous, strenuous baseball practice in his youth, which makes what the son says a bitter joke (this was also noted by 先生).

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Salaryman

  1. 一番湯パパの後には入浴剤

Today’s senryu is about the order in which members of a household use (or reuse) the お風呂の湯


- The reasons for using 入浴剤 may be a good starting point to figure out this senryu.

Remember to please use the spoiler tag with your translation attempts! Also, please include the reading in kana with your submission.

Everyone is encouraged to participate, no matter your level! Questions and comments are as valued as translation submissions.

Please try not to be disappointed if your translation isn’t selected or if you disagree with the daily choice: the judge isn’t terribly consistent with his grading (and has awful taste!).
Online tools like dictionaries, sentence databases, and even AI translation engines are fair game and can be extremely helpful. Yomichan is particularly handy if you use the Chrome or Firefox browser. The 語源由来辞典 is also an excellent resource for researching the etymology of various words and expressions.

Here are the links to the 356 Japanese originals (spoiler free) and to the the spreadsheet with all the upcoming senryu as well as the translations to date.