(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

The three C’s!! Lol. I’m absolutely forwarding that to some old co-workers of mine.

When I was a young engineer graduating by the skin of my teeth, I interviewed with Mitsubishi Semiconductor America, Incorporated (MSAI) which was just opening a semiconductor foundry in Durham, NC (right around the corner from Cats Country store, which made for quite the contrast).

This was back in the “Japan, Inc.” days. The CEO, Watanabe-san, was a real character. He kept a 4’ x 6’ portrait of himself hung over the fireplace in his home. He created a motto for the company called “The Three C’s, with thanks”. They flew in a bunch of recent graduates from schools up and down the east coast. Unlike me, most were from prestigious schools and had impressive GPAs.

There were about twenty of us sitting around a conference room table waiting to be called in one-by-one for our interviews. They gave us an our to prepare before they started calling us in. The entire interview was going to comprise of just one question: What do “The Three C’s (with thanks)” mean to us? This was somewhat different from our experiences interviewing with US companies.

If I remember correctly, the first C was “creativity.” The second was definitely “cooperation.” The last, believe it or not, was “cleanliness”! I don’t remember what exactly I blathered on about for the entire 45 minute interview, but I got the job. I do remember the awkward pause after finishing up my spiel on the importance of “cleanliness” to a semiconductor foundry (“not just in the fab, but in our business dealings, yaddah yaddah”). Eventually, the interviewing manager prompted me: “And what about ‘with thanks’?”. Caught me off balance but I made something up on the spot.

[Edit 2: My memory has clearly faded. It was Cooperation, Communication, and Cleanliness with Thanks. See below.]

I remember the group of us riffing on puns as we were waiting: “three peas no thanks”, “three beans with franks”, …

I also remember the mortified expressions on all of our newly degreed hot-shot engineer faces when we first received our first business cards … with titles of “Engineering Trainee.” They don’t teach humility in western schools.

Brochure pics

The real three C’s:

The group of young engineers

Two years of hires, I’m seated in the middle with the glorious 'stache I’d managed to forget.

3 Likes

Hah. How Japan has changed since those times - from those 3C’s to the 3 密/C’s of the pandemic. :slightly_smiling_face:

I’m almost sure I recognize one of the guys in the photo - worked with him for about a year in Boston in the 80’s, after he left Mitsubishi and joined Lotus.

1 Like

I know every name in that photo. We all became quite close.

The only one I know for certain was in the Boston area was named Sean. He and his Japanese wife at the time had twins, and his father owned a hardware store. That the guy? [Nope, ppor memory again, he spelled his name Shaun, and he was from NJ.] If not, which one? :slight_smile:

You know Hilmi! A Turkish guy who did very, very well for himself. Both he and his (I believe now ex-) wife were in Japan with me at the time. What a small world!


Edit: Also, in case it isn’t obvious, I’m letting 193 go for another day in case someone has an alternate translation.

2 Likes

Yep, that’s the man. :slightly_smiling_face: My association with him was too brief for a sustained relationship… lost touch with him after I left Lotus, within a year of his arrival. I did recognize him in your picture.

It’s a small world, isn’t it?

And, yes, I hope someone else takes a stab at 193 and comes up with a good explanation - mine feels lame.

2 Likes

Not at all! That’s the same interpretation I came up with, but I’m also unsure if there is something else to it.

テレビ欄 definitely means TV schedule or listing and 生放送 definitely means live program, but I’m confused about the crying/wailing.

Hilmi did a startup after Lotus and made real money. His dad was the Turkish ambassador to the US for a while if I remember correctly. I about fell out of my chair several years ago when I saw a spread on him in Time magazine! I’m also friends with his (possibly ex-) wife Janice. I’m amazed you happened to notice him in that photo! We all had so much fun in Kitaitami for a few years. Great memories for all of us.

2 Likes

Sunday, July 3, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 「テレビ欄号泣とある生放送」
    テレビらん ごきゅうとある なまほうそう
    TV listing: / Certain live program, / full of wailing

Notes:

  • :confetti_ball: to @LaVieQ (the jury panel had a difficult time selecting the winner)

  • Is this just a commentary on the horribleness of the news these days, or is there some interpretation for 号泣 we are missing? Amusingly, searching google with the senryu itself leads one to TV programming guides!

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Husbands

  1. 例えばの話で課長にされた俺

An easy one today, both for reading and for interpreting (perhaps less for turning into an English senryu). I’m unsure why this is under Husbands rather than Salaryman.


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.

1 Like

Ooh, I have a theory about that: maybe it’s the husband being grumpy about his wife putting a load of expectation on him by building an imaginary future on a hypothetical future promotion: “if you got a promotion then we could afford to buy a house of our own, with a little garden for our kid, and…” But maybe I’m reading way too much into it :slight_smile:

3 Likes

たとえばの はなしでかちょうに されたおれ

4-5-4 attempt:

I, who became
a boss, based on a
“For example…”

The meaning is not clear…

Is it that he turned into a boss by his wife pushing him to become one? (She: “For example, if only you could become a boss, we could have XYZ…”)
Or…
did his wishful thinking make him work towards becoming a boss? (He: “For example, if I became a boss, you would not complain about XYZ…”)

I think it is neither…

1 Like

Every time I think I understand one of these on first read, I’m inevitably proven wrong (or at least made unsure).

My read was that he was used in a “for example” (of what not to do?) story by his boss.

Truth be told, it made little sense as I read it, and so, I tried to force fit a meaning given the category under which it appears in the source website, viz. 夫編(サラリーマンの悲哀!親父さんに優しくしてあげてね).

I’ve sent it to a Japanese friend. Let’s see if she can make sense of it…

Looking forward to reading what you hear back.

  1. 例えばの話で課長にされた俺

たとえばの・はなしでかちょうに・されたおれ

Instead of just going with my immediate interpretation, I decided to think about it some more and work out the grammar. But I’m still back where I started:

> The chief used me in his “for example” story.

Reasoning:

される is an ichidan verb (為れる but usually written in kana) meaning "to be done (to someone)

課長にされた俺 — something was done to me by the section chief.

例えばの話 — a “for example” story

例えばの話で — in or as part of a “for example story”

Putting it together I get the sentence I wrote above. If it weren’t a senryu, maybe it would have been written something like (おれ)は課長の(たと)えばの(はなし)(れい)になりました?

Hmm. Once again your confusion is hitting me, too (I’m also dipping into the bourbon, though):

課長に任命された means “I was appointed to section chief” which is a very different interpretation.

I still think it’s more like “I was made an example of by my boss” than “I was made the boss as an example”, but I’m now also confused. I think the husbands volume is a red herring (many husbands are salarymen).

Maybe something like: “I was made section chief to be made an example of” (a sort of cautionary story)?

There I was all calm and confident and you had to go ruin it for me. Now I’m as confused as usual!

2 Likes

Famous last words, eh? :smiley:

And, may I remind you that the 川柳 by itself is confusing enough so that my part, if any, in confusing you any more is negligible? :wink:

Here’s the response I got from my friend:

状況としては、夫婦でなにか将来のこととか話し合っているとして…

妻:「そろそろ我が家もマイホームが欲しいわぁ」

夫:「うーん…そうだなぁ。。」

妻:「でも、今のあなたの収入じゃ無理はできないわね。ローンを組んだとしても返済までに何年かかるのかしら?」

夫:「…」

妻:「例えば、よ。あなたが課長に昇進したら、少しはお給料が上がるかしら?」

夫:「そりゃ、まぁそうだろうけど。でも課長になれるとは限らないよ…」

妻:「分かっているわよ!だから“例えば”の話よ。期待なんかしてないわ!」

夫:「…」

と、まぁこんな夫婦の会話から生まれた川柳だと想像します。サラリーマン夫の悲哀!

Interestingly, this is pretty much exactly @pm215’s interpretation! Give him a double prize!!

Based on the above, my interpretation of the grammar would be:

例えばの話で - By the way of a hypothetical conversation… (cf. 話で by means/because of the conversation)
課長にされた俺 - it was decided that I’d be the boss. (cf. にする = to decide on…)

My confusion was due to 課長にされた, which I took to mean that he had become 課長 in reality. But, the right way to interpret is that he became 課長 only in the conversation, which makes more sense.

So, to put it in a phrase, “[My wife] gave an example during the conversation wherein I was made a boss.” Meaning that’s as far as he’d got to becoming a 課長, :unamused: which accords with the category under which it is listed…

2 Likes

Monday, July 4, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 例えばの話で課長にされた俺
    たとえばの はなしでかちょうに されたおれ
    Example just / hypothetical: / “as Section Chief …”

Notes:

  • :confetti_ball: :confetti_ball: to @pm215 (I was right, this one was easy … for exactly one of us :wink: )

  • I love that @LaVieQ’s friend went to the trouble of turning it into a little one-act play! :laughing: Please tell her she gets a :trophy:

  • I took some poetic liberties and it’s no clearer than @LaVieQ’s attempt, but I liked the challenge of incorporating a five syllable word!

  • I’m not sure how anyone would know this was about a couple if it wasn’t in the “Husbands” volume.

  • As @LaVieQ put it: “[My wife] gave an example during the conversation wherein I was made a boss.” Meaning that’s as far as he’d got to becoming a 課長, which accords with the [Husbands] category …

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Children

  1. 「半分こ 上手に割れて姉迷い」

Hint (normal caveats apply — I’ll be right about something one of these days!):

  • I think this is about siblings splitting up a treat. I’m pretty sure the law is universal and strictly enforced: one child splits, the other child chooses.

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

I’ll be out of pocket for a bit today picking up my wife from the airport.

I know I’m glad to have her back, but I’m amazed at how many people I know appear to be preparing fireworks in her honor!

2 Likes

Not sure I should get :confetti_ball: :confetti_ball: for a reply that didn’t even attempt a translation :slight_smile:

1 Like

Getting that cursed meaning instantly suffices.

1 Like

Have a late entry to make up for it:

In her what-if / she’s made me into / a section chief

(trying to capture the ‘not-happy-about-it’ nuance of 課長にされた, though that’s tricky with the tools English gives you…)

3 Likes

with the help of Rrwrex’s hint, here is my attempt:

半分こ 上手に割れて姉迷い
はんぶんこ じょうずにわれたあねまよい

The perfectly-split snack
leaves my older sister perplexed

I admit I took a few liberties with this one; there is no subject or mention of snack, but after I came up with the alliteration I couldn’t help myself haha.
Also this time, the syllable count be damned; I really like the flow of this line break.

3 Likes

はんぶんこ じょうずにわれて あねまよい

3-5-3 take:

My halfsies:
So perfect, sister
is flummoxed

2 Likes

Tuesday, July 5, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 「半分こ 上手に割れて姉迷い」
    はんぶんこ・じょうずにわれて・あねまよい
    My halfsies: / So perfect, sister / is flummoxed

Notes:

  • :confetti_ball: to @LaVieQ

  • :trophy: to @tiredkiwi

  • Tough call, but “halfsies” made me grin. I don’t think I’ve heard that since I was eight. (Aaaand just now I see that it’s even the JMdict entry for 半分こ, but it still gets the win.)

  • 半分こ is a childish word for splitting up a treat. The law is universal and strictly enforced: one child splits, the other chooses!

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Ladies

  1. 「何とかいう人から電話と留守の母」

Hints:

Another easy one (famous last words). Nothing past level 16 today, but this Kenkyusha dictionary entry may prove helpful:

なんとか【何とか】 [ローマ字](nantoka)
1 〔不明・不特定なものを表現して〕 something; something or other; anything; 〔人〕 a so-and-so.
►なんとかさん, なんとかいう人 Mr. So-and-So; Mr. What’s-His┏-Name[-Face]; ᐦ《口》 Mr. Thingummy
・なんとか殿下 Prince Somebody-or-other
・佐々木なんとかいう人 Sasaki ┏Somebody [What’s-His-Name]
・あのなんとかいう日和見主義者たち those opportunistic so-and-sos.


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.