(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

Yes, this was basically my interpretation. The whole family is sharing the same bathwater, so the father gets the first/best bath, then the family adds bath salts, either because the father doesn’t like them, or to make the used water more pleasant.

いちばんゆパパのあとにはにゅうよくざい

after papa
gets the first hot bath,
we add bath salts

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Any insight into the use of パパ instead of ちち? Is it just the propensity for katanglish cropping up again?

No special insight! I’m guessing maybe the author chose it to give the senryu a little bit of unique flavor? Or maybe it comes across as more personal this way? Who knows!

The two takes of it are good, but I’m wondering, “Where’s the senryu bite?” It’s that “something is missing” feeling…

Could it be: “Ofuro priority: dad first, bathing additive second (so water stays fresh)” - a snide dig on dad’s turn in the water requiring it to be treated before others take their turn?

Then again, should every senryu have a bite to it? Am I reading too much into this senryu? Should we mull it over in the ofuro for another day? :wink:

I think パパ and ママ are now normal, everyday katanglish words. That usage seems to be universal, adopted by a section of the urban population around the world.

Sunday, August 21


Previous senryu

  1. 一番湯パパの後には入浴剤

いちばんゆ・パパのあとには・にゅうよくざい
Dad enters the / hot tub first. Next to / get in - bath salts.

Notes:

  • Traditionally, it was customary for men of the household to use the Japanese home Ofuro first, followed by the women folk. There is a defined 入浴の順番。(Internet suggests that this custom is not strictly followed anymore.)

  • The 4-5-4 English translation is a modified version of @fallynleaf ’s to include the humorous bit in the senryu about the order that is followed in the author’s house (パパ > 入浴剤), around the word 入浴.

  • TIL: Apparently, being the very first to get into the Ofuro is not such a good thing from a health perspective, as noted at the end of the linked article above.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Heartfelt

  1. 亡夫の靴へふと足入れてみたくなり

Poignant and easy enough, I think.

Hints:

  • ヒントなし

Welcome back, @Rrwrex !


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I made it back uneventfully late last night. (The outbound trip was a horror story.)

Many, many, thanks to @LaVieQ for keeping this going while I was on vacation. Truly a yeoman’s work and sincerely appreciated. (It occurs to me that “yeoman’s service” would be a good term to squirrel away for future translations!)

Translation attempt

  1. 亡夫の靴へふと足入れてみたくなり

I’m out of practice, I forgot to include the reading! This one’s weird, too. 6-8-5?

ぼうふのくつ・へふとあしいれて・みたくなり

Thoughtless desire:
insert my feet in
late husband’s shoes

Poignant indeed. Anyone that has lost someone can understand the feeling.

Explanation:

ふと…する means to happen [chance] to do something, or for it to occur to you (suddenly or unexpectedly). Also, …みたくなり means to want to see or want to experience (literally “become desirous of seeing”).

It was tricky to combine these two meanings into English. The poem is about the spouse wanting to feel close to her husband again by inserting her feet into her dead husband’s shoes. The word “thoughtless” isn’t in the original, but I couldn’t figure out any senryu-like way to express this without introducing a word.

I’ll take over again tomorrow. And will try to finish all the updates to the top post today (it’s a fair bit of work though, so it may take a while).

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I had more to say about this than I thought when I started. It’s interesting how writing it out forces me to clarify my thinking.

ぼうふのくつへふとあしいれてみたくなり

足入れ

The dictionaries I’ve checked all define this term as “tentative marriage” with no further information, so I think there’s some cultural context/play on words that I only have a hazy grasp on. Or maybe the “tentative” part isn’t important, and this is just word play with a term that could mean either “marriage” or “putting on shoes”

みたくなり

I think the usage of み instead of 見 in みたくindicates that it means “looks like”, or “seems” rather than “want to see”. なり has a lot of possible meanings, including “to be” or “or something” so it’s a little on the vague side.

I think it is an unlikely coincidence that たくなり is only one sound off from なくなり, the stem form of 亡くなる. It feels to me like attempting to deny his death while simultaneously being unable to escape it. I also think it is key that she opens with 亡夫, establishing from the first word the reality she is trying to hide from.

Current theory: the author realizes that failing to remove her late husbands shoes inadvertently allows her to imagine that he is only gone temporarily. 足入れ does double duty in that the shoes appear to be waiting for the husband to put them on again, and also make it seem as though she is still married.

My late husband’s shoes
let me think he will return
to wear them again

I’m sad now. Reminds me of how my mom left my dad’s voice on the answering machine for a good 15 years.

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Interesting! The Japanese definition is apparently 正式な結婚前に、嫁が婿の家に入って暮らすこと. I’ve never heard of 足入れ婚 custom before. Apparently it’s common in the Izu islands: the bride lives in the family’s house temporarily before the formal marriage ceremony. If I understand correctly, 婿の家 means the home of the future-husband and his parents, not modern “living together” with just the two of them alone before getting hitched.

In this case, I think it’s just the simple verb 入れる and nothing to do with the 足入れ custom. Heaven knows I’ve been wrong before, though.

If I heard someone say 足を入れてみたい I’d understand it as wanting to try putting their feet in. I’m unsure, but doesn’t changing it to みたくなり just mean that they are starting to feel the desire to do so?

As you say, it’s poignant for sure. I can’t imagine anything more painful than parting with a late spouse’s (or child’s) personal items.

But I think the poem simply means that when she chances upon his shoes she wants to put her feet in (perhaps to somehow feel close to him again).

Just my opinion, of course, but I’m afraid I don’t quite buy みたくなり・なくなり as an intentional rhyme/inference. That seems a bit of a stretch. (Again: see all my prior wrongness in this thread!)

Similarly, “let me think he will return” also seems to read more into the original than is actually there. It’s an understandable sentiment with a late husband, but I’m leery of adding anything not actually in the original.

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your limerick is beautiful :sob: bravo !!

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ぼうふのくつ・へふとあしいれて・みたくなり

This sudden urge
to slip in to my
dead husband’s shoes

4-5-4 Certainly heartfelt. Although, after I posted it in the morning, I started asking myself, “Why the shoes? Why not the shirt?” Perhaps she returns home and and finds the husband’s shoes/boots, still sitting in the 玄関?

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Doesn’t みたい mean “to try/see” as in 読んでみたい (“would like to read it and see”)?

After reading your take on it, and rereading the original, I’m wondering what the へ is doing there.
亡夫の靴へ…
To my dead husband’s shoes? Shouldn’t it be an を if she wants to try it on (as I had translated it)?

Hmmm… Nothing is as it seems at first sight in Senryu-land.

Your mom keeping the voicemail of your dad for 15 years is quite touching. They must have shared a strong, lifelong connection…

Fascinating custom and an imaginative kanji combo to describe it. I guess it’s the traditional way of testing out the to-be bride’s housekeeping skills?

Per Genki II, てみる is “to do something tentatively” or “trying something” and みたいです expresses an idea of resemblance between people or things, specifically a physical resemblance. Jisho defines みたい and みたく as slang for similar to or resembling.

on further consideration, I’m now wondering if the meaning is more along the lines of, the shoes look as though a foot is inside them - ie, these are leather shoes he wore a lot, so you can see the imprint where his toes were.

I have also puzzled over the usage of へ here.

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Right, and this is definitely てみる “try X (and see what it’s like)”, not the “looks like” みたい. (The latter doesn’t attach to て-stems.)

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I also agree that it’s definitely 〜てみる “to try something” here.
足を入れてみる
足を入れてみたい
足を入れてみたくなる

I also don’t think it’s related to 足入れ all that much, although it’s a very interesting side note. Simply because here it’s in verb form. The verb phrase 足を入れる doesn’t seem to have that connotation (although there is of course the figurative nuance of “dipping your toes into something”, same as in English).
The を in 足を入れる is missing because of syllable constraints, and because it’s not strictly needed in casual writing/conversation.

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Isn’t it that she chanced across the shoes? I’m not certain but think it’s related to the ふと…する construction.

I think you (actually @weaverZ — sorry, I’m pre-coffee and on my phone) are distinguishing between something like 猫みたい (it resembles a cat) and やってみたい (I want to try [to do]). The “resembles” usage always attaches to 名詞, no?

The latter construction can be used with any verb, as with 入れる in the senryu.

I’m unsure whether it’s always or usually written in kana when used this way, but I assumed it was still the 見 kanji. Am I mistaken? (More than possible)

No, you can use it also with verbs and adjectives:
彼は少し疲れてるみたいだ。
パーティーは楽しかったみたいです。

But it’s got to go after a ‘completed’ form of the verb (plain, -ta, -teiru, etc); it can’t attach to the -te stem directly.

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Technically it’s a ナ形容詞 with the extra ability to attach to a 名詞 as a suffix with nothing in between. But it’s also a 名詞 so you can have a verb before it. It’s just the special case of 連用形 て-forms change the meaning. (Or I suppose you could also look at it as a different kind of みたい) Edit: See @pm215 ’s response below.

Leeboed! :joy:

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I would disagree. The thing with -te is an auxiliary verb ‘miru’ (which you can inflect in a bunch of ways including but not limited to ‘mitai’), whereas the other one is always ‘mitai’ and never inflects. So they’re grammatically distinct as well as meaning-wise.

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