(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

The problem with Dad being the oni is that 鬼豆まき, the oni are the ones throwing/sowing the beans.

I’m unsure: is it ()く (to scatter) or ()く (to sow)? Never occurred to me that there was even a difference, much less to ask this question.

Edit: Kenkyusha says it’s the former:

日本では節分の夜, 家の内外に豆をまく. In Japan on the eve of the first day of spring, people scatter dry beans around the inside and outside of their home.

Edit 2: Ooh! This is interesting. Apparently, it also has the connotation of “giving someone the slip”:

  • トイレに行くからと言って, 連れをまいた. I gave my companion the slip by saying I was going to the toilet.
  • うるさくつきまとう弟をまいて恋人の家に急いだ. I got rid of my younger brother, who persisted in tagging after me, and I hurried to the home of my lover.
  • 追っ手をまこうと川に飛び込んだ. I tried to lose my pursuer by jumping into a river.
  • ふう, どうやらまいたようだ. Hmm, it looks as if I’ve shaken him off.
  • くそっ, まかれたか. Damn! He’s given me the slip!

(I’ve head the まいた version a lot. It never occurred to me that this was a conjugation of まく!)

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I think that still jives since the gag is that he’s the Oni, or dressed up as it at least.

Ah that’s interesting. I don’t know if it would apply here though since 豆まき is a specific thing, but it could be a play on that.

Yeah, I don’t think it applies here, but I’m learning there’s more to these things than are apparent at first glance! <laugh> (Also: you’ve got a typo. I think you meant “that still jibes”.)

I thought you threw the beans to chase the oni out of the house, though. I don’t get how dad would be the one throwing if he’s got the mask on?

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Ah good point. Hmm.

Maybe the dad is throwing beans at himself in the Oni mask since the rest of the family can’t be bothered?

Or maybe he’s a true サラリマン and has no family so he’s doing the whole ritual solo?

Nah I meant jives. Although the word did come from jibe originally. It just sounds more gangsta :sunglasses:

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Jive GIFs | Tenor

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Translation attempt

Not checked anyone else’s or read the discussion so maybe it’ll be totally off, but I want to try.

“Out with the devil!” [The devil is scattering beans.] “Out with me, I guess.”

A little clumsy, but it’s all I could think for my interpretation. Basically I read this as taking place on 節分, and the speaker is doing 豆撒き to banish the oni (and more metaphorically, bad fortune) from the house, but then the devil basically plays a reverse Uno card and banishes the speaker instead. I’m not that confident with this one; on top of language ambiguities I am autistic so if there’s some symbolic representation of a social interaction I am apt to miss it. But I wanted to try, so I made myself do it. Please be nice.

Now to read the discussion and feel embarrassed about having posted this :stuck_out_tongue:

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In regard to the 鬼が豆まき, could it be saying that the oni/Dad is taking part in the general activity of the豆まき, regardless of which role he plays? Sort of like '鬼(のオレ)が豆まき(活動するので、外にいる). Total guess, just something I thought of.

Don’t worry about it. I haven’t posted the last couple of days, but I get them wrong a lot, and I couldn’t make heads or tails of this one. I’m still not sure I agree with any of the attempts either, I can’t quite figure this one out, even with all of the translations people have posted.

Ok, I am having a lot of trouble with understanding this one, because I think I don’t really have any context about setsubun. But, my thought is, maybe…

It’s setsubun, the kids are saying there are oni outside, and they are throwing beans. But the dad thinks the kids are oni, and he goes outside to avoid the beans?
So for instance, “There’s oni outside! But actually, the oni are the ones throwing the beans. Now I’m outside.”

Nice job, and welcome to the club!

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Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Previous senryu

  1. 鬼は外」 鬼が豆まき オレは外
    “Oni ha soto”: / oni are throwing the beans / I’m outside


  • Congrats to @alo :confetti_ball: for “closest to the mark”
  • “Oni ha soto” is a set phrase during setsubun (a seasonal festival before the first day of spring). Typically, one or two adults or older kids wear paper masks to dress up as “oni” (demons/devils/ogres) and smaller kids and their parents throw dried beans inside and outside the house to drive away the demons while saying this phrase. (Yes, it’s one of those weird Japanese things.)
  • We aren’t 100% certain in our translation, so I’ve gone with the most literal translation and not translated the stock phrase.
  • My interpretation is that it’s a salaryman being driven outside by his “demon” kids throwing beans (the tradition is residents driving away the oni, this has it reversed).
  • Consider this translation tentative until confirmed by a native.
  • Note that this senryu does include some punctuation (quotation marks)! Rex is wrong yet again: apparently this is allowed.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Heartfelt (しみじみ(へん))

  1. 棒グラフ伸ばしてくれた子の寝顔


  • Apparently, the Japanese word for a “bar graph” is a “pole graph” (棒グラフ) — I learn something every day.
  • I’m struggling a little to translate this one. Need to ponder.

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.

Here’s the link to the spreadsheet with all the upcoming senryu as well as the translations to date.


Translation attempt

I’m reasonably confident with my translation, but I’m struggling to interpret the meaning:

  1. 棒グラフ伸ばしてくれた子の寝顔

My sleeping child’s face / allows me to extend the bar chart

What I’m pretty sure of:

The author is grateful for the child’s sleeping face. I think there’s a sense of erased weariness from looking at the face.

What I’m completely mystified by:

What in the heck is going on with the bar chart? 棒グラフ伸ばして = “extending/stretching the bar chart”, but what on earth does that mean?

Does it mean that the sleeping child’s face made the long hours at the office slaving over bar charts worthwhile? Does “extending/stretching the bar chart” mean continuing to work on it? As in, making all the hard work to support the family worthwhile?

Or does it mean somehow creating a new record, extending a bar on the chart? But what does the bar measure?


This is the translation I came up with after noticing that it isn’t 仲, but 伸

I think it means that the author was running out of room and drew the rest of the bargraph onto the face of a sleeping child

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Lol! That’s an unexpected interpretation!

See, it would be both funny and would kinda make sense


Translation Attempt

  1. 棒グラフ伸ばしてくれた子の寝顔


Somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but I think it’s pretty close. :wink:

Edit: As usual, after reading the other answers, now I’m less sure of my answer. :joy:


Translation Attempt

Wow, I have literally no idea what this one’s supposed to mean. Might as well give it a go anyway.

My child’s sleeping face allows for the extension of the bar chart.

Like, that seems pretty logical as a direct translation, right? But I’m not sure what it could mean. Maybe that if the child is asleep, the speaker is able to do their work, because the child isn’t demanding attention?

I assume everyone else is similarly confused, so I’ll go look at you guys’ answers now.


Translation attempt

  1. 棒グラフ伸ばしてくれた子の寝顔

Really unsure of the meaning… My theory is that the person who wrote the 川柳 is a businessman.

The sleeping face of my child
Boosted my sales

Something like:
businessman looked at his child sleeping → It’s so peaceful and beautiful and must be protected → got motivated to work extra hard for his child’s sake → His sales (or any kind of results that can be charted) went up

I’m not that happy with “boosted my sales” part, feels a bit prosaic, but I wanted to keep what I think is the feeling of the original. 伸ばす is transitive so it’s someone doing actively something + くれる imply that it’s really the sleeping face of the kid that dif the work of boosting sales/results. Of course it’s not possible, so I guess the author wanted to show that seeing the child sleeping compelled him so much that it’s as if the child did the work.


This one’s a doozy, so I think we’re all going to need you to “phone a family member” eventually. :joy:

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Step ahead of you.

My daughter says, “Uhhhh I’m honestly at a loss haha”. :man_shrugging:

I’m leaning toward @Arzar33’s interpretation. It’s consistent grammatically with what I was asking earlier (“measure what?”).

Sales makes as much sense as anything. It definitely jibes with my sense of the poem.

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