(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

Monday, August 29, 2022

Yikes! I appear to have completely forgotten to post a new senryu yesterday.

I had a crazy number of things going on yesterday (including finally feeling well enough after a bad bout of shingles to attempt some long overdue yardwork). Another busy day today, so the spreadsheet will remain woefully behind. Mea culpa!

Previous senryu

  1. このハゲはかつらですよと笑わせる
    My bald head? / It’s a wig, you know! / Makes 'em laugh


  • The と particle indicates something quoted, in this case, saying “it’s a wig”. The verb 笑わせる means to make laugh, so saying this made people laugh. The reason is the explicit context: このハゲ means “in the context of this bald-guy” or “as for this baldy” (ハゲ comes from はげる, and means baldness as in patchy — in the katakana like this its a slang term for “bald-guy”). [Others may have different opinions on how to interpret this, but since it’s my thread I’m going to claim owners privilege and state categorically that only my opinion matters. :stuck_out_tongue: ]

  • I believe everything in that prior bullet point would be easier to explain with a diagram. I’m honing in on a system to diagram sentences like this, but the version I posted has some issues. I’ll post a better version for this one and a few others soon (here or in another thread).

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Seniors

  1. 飛行機は座れたかいと聞く婆ちゃん

Took me a second, but this situation was wayyyyyyyy too familiar for me not to understand.

My interpretation of the meaning (SPOILER):

“On a plane, granny asks ‘are you sitting’?”.

The key is understanding that かい is just an interrogative like か, and is often used by the elderly.

Forgive the political incorrectness, but I’ve flown literally a dozen or so times per year between the US and Japan for a few decades.

Flight attendants on long-haul flights are often older with lots of seniority. I’ve had more than my share of similar stupid questions from some, not to put too fine a point on it, rude and inattentive battleaxes. Of course I’m sitting! And with my seatbelt fastened — you’re looking right at the buckled seatbelt in my lap!

To be fair, I know it’s a hard job, but I’ve also seen a flight attendant forcefully chewing out a poor elderly Japanese man who clearly spoke no English for having earphones plugged into his ear. Poor man was terrified and utterly mystified. That kind of thing upsets me.

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>[ごげん]<由来>[ゆらい]<辞典>[じてん] 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.