(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

Wednesday, July 6, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 「何とかいう人から電話と留守の母」
    なんとかいう・ひとからでんわと・るすのはは
    “Got a call from / whatsisname!” per / house-sitting mom

Notes:

  • :confetti_ball: to @LaVieQ

  • As usual, I couldn’t help tinkering with the English version.

  • My wife confirms this interpretation. :bowing_man: I think the grammatically complete version would be something like 「なんとか言う人から電話があった」と留守番の母が言いました。(I’ll interpret one of these correctly eventually, though!)

  • My main confusion was around 留守の母. 留守(るす) normally means “absent” or “away”, so I was interpreting this as the mother being away.

    Maybe here, though, the mother was 留守(るすばん) (caretaker) while the daughter was away! That is, there doesn’t even have to be a written note, she could simply be quoting what her mother told her after she returned. I think (ばん) might have been left off due to the 17(おん) restriction.

  • As an aside: I learned 留守番 at work in Japan back in the eighties (as well as ゴミ当番(とうばん)!). I was always amazed at how efficiently a traditional Japanese office ran and how much information was conveyed by the little magnetic whiteboard/attendance-board.

    Whenever you came or left you’d put the magnet by 入 or 出 next to your name to let others know if you were in the office. If you were taking vacation, you’d write 「休〜mm/dd」. Whenever the 課長 was out, somebody was designated 留守番. And, of course, we rotated the responsibility for emptying the trash cans (though that was indicated by a little construction paper pyramid that got passed from desk to desk each day).

    EVERY Japanese office was (and mostly still is) amazingly (somewhat scarily) similar. On each floor, the 部長 has a desk in the corner near a partitioned-off conference table. Each department under that 部長 has the 課長’s desk turned sideways at the end of a double-row of the desks for the employees in that department. Each department would have 朝礼(ちょうれい) (or, once flex-time was introduced, 昼礼(ちゅうれい)) at the same time every day: everyone stood, bowed, then each employee in turn would say good morning and give a status or share information on anything that affected others in the group.

    I’m constantly aghast at how poorly most western companies run meetings. There are invariably way too many, far too many are a complete waste of time for everyone attending, and rarely if ever does anyone prepare, take action items, for follow-up. There’s some of this in Japan, too, of course, but the group ethic is so thoroughly ingrained that they are mostly much better run. The standing 朝礼 remains a model of efficiency that I always wanted to enforce when I became a manager (but never did due to insufficient cat-herding skills and the inevitable eye-rolling skepticism from western employees).

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Salaryman

  1. 「クビになり 「独立した!」と 言いふらす」

Hints (with no attempt at interpreting the overall meaning this time!)

  • (くび)になる means to be fired

  • 独立(どくりつ) means “independence”. Appropriately enough, we just celebrated 独立記念日(どくりつきねんび) (independence day) here in the US!

  • 言いふらす means to disseminate or spread (a rumor, typically).


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

That was my misunderstanding as well, that mom was away from home, (hence) leaving a note for the son/daughter. I didn’t read 留守の母 as 留守番の母.

1 Like

くびになり 「どくりつした!」というふらす

the age old
“if I’m fired
I’m free!” lie

Notes

the なり is making me lean towards the “If” correlation but I do realize there is no もし in the 川柳 so :person_shrugging:

I used lie instead of rumor to fit a 3-5-3 line but I am okay with it changing to rumor in an attempt to keep it more of a direct translation.

1 Like

クビになり 「どくりつした!」といいふらす

Got laid off, but,
“I’ve gone solo!” is
the tale I tell

Is this merely a サラリーマン’s attempt at saving face, or something else peculiarly Japanese?

My understanding is that the クビになり in this case is the same as クビになって…

I’ll be out for a couple of days - y’all have fun.

3 Likes

Curiously, the “daily standup” status meeting has lately become popular in software engineering as part of the ‘agile’ methodology, though I think the “actually standing up” part is often dropped. I don’t know if there’s influence from Japanese practice here, but it’s certainly possible – the related ‘kanban’ methodology is definitely modeled on/inspired by Toyota factory processes.

1 Like

Thursday, July 7, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 『クビになり 「独立した!」と 言いふらす』
    クビになり・「どくりつした!・といいふらす
    Got laid off, but, / “I’ve gone solo!” is / the tale I tell

Notes:

  • :confetti_ball: to @LaVieQ

  • I agree with LaVieQ, this seems to be about saving face by “becoming independent” (as an occasional “consultant” myself, I approve of this interpretation).

  • クビになり in this case is the same as クビになって…

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Global Truths (世の真理編)

  1. 「犬撫でているのが唯一打開策」

No hints. I’m a cat person.

I am happy to have recently learned 唯一, but I’m sad to admit I had to look up almost everything else.

[By the way, I briefly considered providing hints for all the vocabulary words each day, but I thought better of it. Looking up words and researching phrases is a skill that rewards practice like anything else. I’ll continue to provide (bad) hints for those occasions where I might have some cultural context that would be hard to find through internet research.]


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.

Clearly I’m going to have to let this one run another day (or until @LaVieQ gets back! :laugh:).

犬撫でているのが唯一打開策

My understanding of the literal meaning:

Petting the dog was the only way to break the impasse.

I’m unsure if there is some sort of deeper meaning, or if the deadlock/impasse was even between the author and a dog, or if there might be someone else involved.

I’m looking forward to reading other interpretations.

Saturday, July 9, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 「犬撫でているのが唯一打開策」
    いぬなでて・いるのがゆいつ・だかいさく
    Petting the dog — / the only way to / break the impasse

Notes:

  • no :confetti_ball: and I’m still unsure if there is an underlying meaning beyond the direct translation.

  • I will verify the translation when my wife returns from the store. Note that ALL prior translations are still open to discussion/ correction. I’d appreciate people periodically reviewing the spreadsheet with me.

  • Note the reading of 唯一(ゆいつ) rather than 唯一(ゆいいつ) for 17(おん). Both are valid (and both taught on WK!).

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Intense

  1. 俺の留守便座上がっている疑惑

Hah! This one seems pretty funny to me.

I’m unsure, however, if it has something to do with the auto-open/auto-close function of a Toto Washlet, or if it’s just unease at returning to a raised toilet toilet seat (perhaps a woman living alone). Either way, it strikes me as funny.


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.

おれのるす べんざあがって いるぎわく (5-6?-5)

4-5-4
So suspicious!
Toilet seat raised up
in my absence

The suspicion is that of the writer (the only male in the household, presumably), who returns home to find a raised toilet seat, implying another male visitor in his absence.

Although the words were easy enough to translate, I had some help with the overall meaning. The key is 上がっている: who is encountering the raised toilet seat and when could it have been raised?

Previous 川柳: Why the dog had to be petted is beyond me as well. The “universal truth” category under which it is classified, only confounds that question further.

2 Likes

This 川柳 was explained in words through a scenario that a friend wrote. She later did a manga around it and sent it to me and so, here it is, for your viewing pleasure :wink:

4 Likes

She’s hired!

1 Like

Sunday, July 10, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 俺の留守便座上がっている疑惑
    おれのるす・べんざあがって・いるぎわく
    So suspicious! / Toilet seat raised up / in my absence

Notes:

  • :confetti_ball: to @LaVieQ (welcome back!)

  • As a man, I can confidently state that a raised toilet seat wouldn’t cause me a second thought, even if I thought I’d left it down! Still seems funny to me regardless of the author’s gender.

  • I’m feeling under the weather with flu symptoms (is there something going around?). Doubt I’ll be of much use today.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Salaryman

  1. 会議中 時の流れに 身をまかせ

No hints. I’m pretty sure anyone who has been to meetings in a corporate environment knows the feeling! Very poetic — I’ll try to remember this one.


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.

かいぎちゅう ときのながれに みをまかせ

3-4-3

In meetings,
just go with the
flow of time

Sit back, relax. It will take what it will take. “It is what it is.” :smiley:

2 Likes

I think I’ve finally figured out the meaning of this beast:

4-5-4
Dog’s insistence -
Only way out is
to give it rubs

I got confused by trying to figure out the person with whom the author is having an “impasse.” But, the only other being referenced in the 川柳 is the dog. 当たり前なのに! Also, translating 撫でている literally as “petting” makes one lose sight of the doggie behavior around which the statement is constructed.

Having cared for dogs in the past, the universal dictum: “The dog that wants a rub, shall receive one!” should have come to mind earlier, but that’s the 迷い of translating words literally.

Hope you’re feeling better today. It may simply be the seasonal changes in Northern California - must be warming up there, finally. I get that every year and got it this year a month or so ago.

1 Like

Monday, July 11, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 会議中 時の流れに 身をまかせ
    かいぎちゅう・ときのながれに・みをまかせ
    In meeting: / surrendered to the / flow of time

Notes:

  • :confetti_ball: to @LaVieQ (with my inevitable tweaks)

  • Sorry for the delay. I’m still feeling under the weather.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Life in one page

  1. ゴミ収集の前日わが家スイカの日

Ooh. This is a weird one.

I’m pretty sure this is about watermelons rather than a prepaid Suica train pass, but I still don’t get it. Maybe it’s just saying they don’t want watermelon rinds rotting in the garbage before collection?


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.

Yeah, that makes the most sense to me. I was leaning toward it being an impasse between the author and a dog, but wondered if there was something more. I forgot to ask my wife about it.

Dog’s insistence -
Only way out is
to give it rubs

and

Petting the dog —
the only way to
break the impasse

Seem pretty similar to me, so I’ll leave it. Would be fun to work in “scritches” somehow, though. :smile:

1 Like

Ok, on this one I’m not understanding the わ at all. Can anyone explain the grammar for that?

()() – “our house”

3 Likes

Ok, in that case I think I understand the meaning pretty well. I’m not a poet so I won’t submit anything though.

Thanks for the explanation! When stuff is in kana sometimes I can’t tell what’s part of a word or a particle or a grammar point.

Hah! You have seen my attempts, no?

Please do submit if you’ve an idea. I’m still mystified.

There is probably some deeply profound meaning behind choosing kana rather than kanji for 我 here, but danged if I know what it is.