(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

Just a couple thoughts, the first I’m certain of, the second less so:

  1. 久しぶり (without the 「〜ですね!」) doesn’t always mean “long time no see”. Exactly as in your final submission, it can also be「久しぶりに〜」meaning a long time since doing something or since something has happened (not necessarily just meeting or seeing someone).

  2. Another possible interpretation of 笑顔なし is that he’s trying to hide a smile. My initial thought is the salaryman author is hiding the smile from their boss or co-workers. The old salaryman trope is that the boss can’t leave until all their reports have gone home, and that everyone has to give their all to the company.

1 Like

Ohhhh number two makes more sense now, of couse he’d be happy to go home on time, and the exclaimation point hammers that point in. With this in mind I’ll give it another crack…

It has been so long
since I have gone home on time.
I’m not smiling!

I’m not happy with it, but poetry isn’t my strong suit. Just happy to translate

2 Likes

I actually had the same interpretation as @superelf94 :woman_shrugging:t3:
His wife is waiting at home, but surprisingly she‘s not over the moon that he‘s home so early.
It’s also a thing in Japan that wives divorce their husbands after they retire, because before retirement the wives could just do as they please (and even if they didn’t really like their husband they wouldn’t see them much) but now their husbands are around which is of course annoying so they get divorced.
I think this is the direction the 川柳 is aiming at. (Not divorce or anything, but „wife is actually happy to spend her time alone and the husband is 邪魔 sometimes“)

2 Likes

久しぶり 定時帰宅に 笑顔なし!

It’s hard to choose between the boomer stereotypes but

I thought the same as Myria and superelf94, the family is not happy to see him.

his wife just wants to be alone, and he his out of touch with his children that he never see anyway. Seems to be a common theme that the dad is always isolated, working endlessly.

Going for 4-5-4

Finally could
go back home on time
Nobody smile!

2 Likes

I wasn’t going to attempt this one because the subject matter wasn’t terribly compelling to me, but after reading the discussion, I couldn’t resist a more tongue-in-cheek translation (as opposed to a literal one) :sweat_smile:.

(ひさ)しぶり 定時(ていじ)帰宅(きたく)笑顔(えがお)なし!

“hello, honey!
you’re home early!” said
without smiling

3 Likes

Monday, June 20, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 久しぶり 定時帰宅に 笑顔なし!
    久しぶり・ていじきたくに・えがおなし!
    been a while / since I’ve gone home / on time, no smile!

Notes:

  • :confetti_ball: to @superelf94
  • I tend to agree with everyone, I think it probably is the wife without a smile. :smile: My previous comment with the other interpretation (that I was not certain of) was just my initial thought.
  • It is still possible to interpret it as the author trying to hide a smile, though. The に unfortunately doesn’t help to clarify who is not smiling at leaving on time.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Intense

  1. うますぎる話見抜けぬ欲の皮

Once again I’m amazed at actually being able to (s-l-o-w-l-y) read another one without a dictionary, while still having absolutely no idea what’s going on!

Here’s how I parse it, but I’m still struggling with the real meaning (as always, mistakes are likely below, but you may not want to look until after you’ve tried your hand at it).

  • うますぎる(はなし) — Conversation/saying that’s just too good
  • 見抜(みぬ)けぬ(よく) — Impenetrable/unclear/not-transparent (?) wants/desires

So l suspect the meaning is something like “clever talk is the skin covering hidden desires” but I’m still completely unsure if that’s even close or if that even makes a lick of sense!


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!

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.

3 Likes

Had a spare moment, and thought I’d drop by! So glad I did, since this includes a new expression for me. I’m excited to see how everyone else interprets this poem.

Also I find ぬ to be especially fun,

since I accidentally learned it really early in my language journey. We’re talking です、ます、and ぬ - the point where I used to think it was as common as ない.

うますぎるはなし / みぬけぬ / よくのかわ

a story
too good to be true
conceals greed

The perspective of my interpretation:

Ideally, I wanted to express that you “aren’t able to see the greed of the other party, when being told something that’s too good to be true”.

2 Likes

Translation Attempt

うますぎる 話見抜けぬ 欲の皮
うますぎる はなしみぬけぬ よくのかわ

#1

Too good to be true
But where is the catch?
I‘m getting greedy

#2

Too good to be true
I can’t figure out the trick
Gonna get greedy

I didn’t know how to approach this at first, but @Axazel‘s interpretation helped me figure it out! I went reading a bit about the expression 欲の皮が引っ張る, and to me it seems like it’s describing the feelings of the author: he can“t seem to figure out the trick of this deal, so he“s getting greedy because there might actually be no catch. Happy to be corrected though :slightly_smiling_face:

2 Likes

Wow!

How did you find or know to look for 欲の皮が引っ張る? I’m learning so much about how to research in this thread it’s amazing, but that was a serious leap — any tips will be more than appreciated.

I couldn’t find that exact phrase, but did find

  • (よく)(かわ)()()る (you are greedy as you can be) and

  • (よく)(かわ)()る (to be greedy)

Both were completely new phrases to me.

This one is really hard! I’m amazed that you and @Axazel figured this much out. I was completely stumped.

1 Like

Yes, that’s the one I meant! :woman_facepalming:t3:

欲の皮 just sounds like a proverb, 見抜けぬ欲 doesn’t make much sense and a random trailing の皮 also doesn’t make much sense, so I figured that must be the expression. :sweat_smile:

5 Likes

Tuesday, June 21, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. うますぎる話見抜けぬ欲の皮
    うますぎる・はなしみぬけぬ・よくのかわ
    a story / too good to be true / conceals greed

Notes:

  • :confetti_ball: to @Axazel and @Myria
  • TIL what “clever talk is the skin covering hidden desires” means (laugh).
  • The key to understanding this one is the expression 「 (よく)(かわ)()る」 which means “to be greedy” (a new one for me). What an odd way to express that!

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Heartfelt (しみじみ編)

  1. 「この人と渋茶すすっている不思議」

Again with the easy to read but mysterious meaning! I even guessed the reading of 渋茶(しぶちゃ) correctly (the meaning was obvious).

I’m pretty sure that this one will remain mysterious in English, though. The winner will likely hinge on which specific English word is chosen for 不思議(ふしぎ).


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!

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.

2 Likes

Another good day means writing another poem with you all :relieved: I think this one has a complex feeling that’s hard to capture in English…. but I like what I’ve come up with!

このひとと / しぶちゃすすっている / ふしぎ

with this person
sipping bitter tea
is something else

3 Likes

Using DeepL Translate for ふしぎ wonder, or mystery

Why am I here
Sipping tea, bitter tea
With this person

2 Likes

このひとと しぶちゃすすって いるふしぎ

3-4-3 translation:

Amazing!
Having bitter
tea with him/her…

NOTES:
Is this about the charm of someone’s company, so much so that the tea pot sits forgotten to the side, making the tea go bitter? The translation doesn’t quite catch the mood, though.

I searched for 渋茶をすする as an idiomatic expression, but found nothing. So, I guess the meaning is literal. However, I discovered the interesting expression 茶々を入れる, which means to interrupt (presumably by pouring tea often, distracting the interaction). Which makes me wonder if the bitter tea is a reference to being so engrossed in whatever is going on with the 相手 that the tea sits neglected and goes bitter.

The website for proverbs & expressions is also handy. See their explanation for 欲の皮が突っ張る

2 Likes

Wednesday, June 22, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 「この人と渋茶すすっている不思議」
    このひとと・しぶちゃすすっている・ふしぎ
    slurping bitter / tea with this person / is something else

Notes:

  • :confetti_ball: to @Axazel

  • As usual, I’ve taken some liberties (apologies). For some reason I think “slurping” fits better here. At least I kept it a 4-5-4.

  • :trophy: to @Linda0r (welcome!)

  • Another :trophy: to @LaVieQ for a late entry. I’m unsure, of course, but I still don’t think 不思議 has positive connotations here. I think it’s an unusual word choice for explaining being engrossed/distracted .

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Heartfelt (しみじみ編)

  1. 「その夢にあんたもいたと妻が泣く」

This is becoming a pattern! Once again, I can read the words without assistance. Still wondering about the meaning, though.

Hints/musings:

  • あんた (you) implies either rudeness or extreme familiarity

  • Does the と mean “if”? Or is it setting up a scenario (like quoting)?

  • My initial interpretation (likely wrong as usual) is something like, “If you were also in that dream, my wife would cry”.

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!

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.

3 Likes

Administrivia:

I’ve changed the order of the OP to put today’s assignment (and the prior translations) at the very top instead of the bottom.

This makes it slightly easier for me to edit every day (I might also start marking the current assignment as the solution every day, but since I want to include prior translations it won’t really save me much work).

Hopefully this makes the top post more useful to others, too, but don’t hesitate to let me know if you don’t like the change.

2 Likes

Sorry, left town before I could respond to your message.

I was in Hillsborough, near SFO for the last 3 days visiting friends. It was indeed a fun long weekend filled with wine, movies and all sorts of conversations.

Just noticed that you are also based in the Bay area… I live in San Diego, btw. It’ll be nice to do a 川柳 meet up up there (or down here). Wonder if there’s anyone else here from the West Coast…

1 Like

Oh, hey! Sorry I missed you. I’m in the south bay (Los Gatos, border of San Jose).

My youngest graduated from UCSD and is considering moving back down there at some point. We may indeed cross paths at some point.

A f2f meetup sometime would definitely be fun. :grin:

I’m not going to submit an official entry, but my thought on this was You should also go after that dream, my wife cries. The meaning is the wife is tearfully telling the person to follow their dreams?

That could be way off base, I think the different ideas come from different interpretations of いた, and I’m not totally sure which is right. I thought maybe it could be shoot for (射る) because being in a dream didn’t make much sense to me, but honestly who knows.

2 Likes

I wondered for a second about this too… but I don’t think literally translated “shoot for” your dreams is an expression used in Japanese. It’s usually 夢を追い(かける) or 夢を叶える.

Using と like this is a grammar point that means “whenever x occurs, y also happens” So I think “if” is totally fine, along with “when” or “whenever”. Grammar point here!

I have the same interpretation! So here goes my attempt:

—————————-

そのゆめに / あんたもいた / とつまがなく

in that dream
if you’re there with her
my wife cries

OR

whenever
in her dreams you’re there
my wife cries

1 Like