(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

Monday, September 5, 2022

Previous senryu

  1. こりゃ誰だこの歌なんだ大みそか
    I say now/ who’s New Years Eve/ song is this?


  • As pointed out by @pm215, this is almost certainly a nod to NHK’s 紅白歌合戦 , a popular show broadcast on new year’s eve every year since the early 1950’s. This senryu seems to be making fun of the oldsters complaining about the new acts.

    If you’re an American of a certain age, think “the Jerry Lewis Telethon.” 紅白(こうはく) is just as cheesy, but instead of a donations counter they count votes for the red and white teams. A timely reference since today is Labor Day in the US!

  • The kanji for the last day of the lunar year (celebrated in Japan on 12/31) is 大晦日(おおみそか), but the middle character is fairly uncommon and isn’t taught on Wanikani. It means dark/disappear and is read カイ、つごもり、くら・い、みそか、くら・む.

  • “I say now!” has a wonderfully old-fashioned vibe that seems to fit this senryu perfectly. To my ears, こりゃ normally sounds much more gruff and less polite, though. It’s often used in anger.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Corona

  1. 子は鬼滅 夫婦は亀裂 おうち時間

Break out your dictionaries! All the characters are taught here, but the 亀裂(きれつ) jukugo term was a new one for me. The first character in the compound really threw me off! Apparently, () can mean 「うらないに用いた亀の甲」or a turtle shell used for fortune-telling — this seems more likely to fit than an actual tortoise! I suppose it’s also possible it’s just ()().

鬼滅(きめつ) was also unfamiliar but I at least guessed the meaning correctly (though I’d have read it wrong). Apparently, there’s a popular manga that uses the word (鬼滅()(やいば) — Demon Slayer)

Knowing how small many Japanese homes can be, working from home must have been particularly difficult.

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.