(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

  1. 言い負けてよかった妻の上機嫌

Bleh, this is some “happy wife, happy life” borderline boomer-humor nonsense. I dislike humor that views marriage/relationships as inherently adversarial.

  1. 下書きの 送信キーを 猫が押し


Straightforward translation attempt

The cat hit send on my rough draft

English 5-7-5 attempt with 'artistic' liberties

Furry house gremlin
Sat on the send key of my
Unfinished rough draft

Alternatively, taking the word order more into account,
The send key of my
Preliminary rough draft
Well, the cat hit it


Furry house gremlin

:laughing: Yup. We had 'em growing up and that’s as good a description as I’ve heard.

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That takes it, for me. :laughing: Don’t think I could improve on it at all. :slight_smile: :+1:


Translation Attempt

5-7-5 attempt:

Prematurely sent
Just a draft; the enter key
Stepped on by the cat


So glad to have lost / when we had the argument / wife in a good mood

Reminded me of the advice from a long married (male) colleague, who said these sort of phrases had saved him in the nick of time in heated arguments:
- “I understand why I’m feeling so lost! Let’s do it your way”
- “Honey, you are so right! What was I thinking!!”
- “Oh, I wish I could have thought about that!!”
- “Brilliant, just brilliant! Honey, you’re so smart!!”

Of course, how one delivers these line matters as much as what they say

PS: Delayed submission. But since I did the 5-7-5 this time, I’ll put it in anyway :wink:

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Still a rough draft / Oh, no! that e-mail was sent - / Cat pawed the send key

I took too many liberties with the translation, trying to make it 5-7-5


Translation attempt

Okay, since we’re all agreed on the interpretations and we’re just playing around with liberally-translated English 5-7-5 attempts, I’ll submit one anyway:

Disgusting rough draft,
send key pressed deliberately
not me but the cat

Once again I wonder how on earth I set myself up to judge a poetry contest — daily! These are all so great, and while I’m known for many things, artistic sensibilities aren’t even on the list!


Another really plain translation from me, unfortunately :sweat_smile:


rough draft submitted
by the cat who stepped on the
computer keyboard


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Previous senryu

  1. 下書きの 送信キーを 猫が押し
    Prematurely sent / just a draft; the enter key / stepped on by the cat


  • Congrats to @rosencrantz :confetti_ball: (5-7-5 bonus)
  • I thought you folks were gonna make it easy for me when I went to bed: clear winner with six likes. Then I woke up to a 4-4 tie!
  • Many great submissions!

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Life in one page

  1. オレ粗大ゴミならおまえ危険物


  • I don’t quite get this one yet
  • I do know that parts of Japan take separating their garbage to a whole 'nother level with a half-dozen or more different categories.

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 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. オレ粗大ゴミならおまえ危険物

“If I’m oversized garbage, then you’re hazardous materials”.
I’m wondering if this is a play on the second definition below. Something like, “I may be a garbage husband, but you’re a toxic wife.”


I think that one captures the intent. :+1:


Translation Attempt

Really happy my translation of the cat one went down well, thanks everyone! Gonna try this one then look at everyone else’s versions.


If I’m trash, you must be hazardous materials!


Fine, I guess I’m trash
There, I said it. Now admit
You are toxic waste


Though my understanding is that 危険物 is usually more like, explosive-type dangerous things, I don’t think it’s restricted to JUST that, and I feel like the relationship connotations of “toxic” in English fit the spirit of the poem. At least the way I read it.
Also went for just “trash” instead of “bulky trash” because 粗大ゴミ can be slang for a useless husband, and I think that is better expressed in English simply as trash.


I think the play on words here that matches the second meaning of 粗大ゴミ is the 物 connotations from things like 動物 and 生物 where it’s an animate object.

The translations so far seem extremely harsh to me (“garbage husband” and “toxic” seem especially aggressive). I’m wondering if it might sound slightly more teasing and light-hearted if worded differently:

Translation attempt

  1. オレ粗大ゴミならおまえ危険物

If I belong in “oversized trash” / you must be “dangerous goods”!

(I’ve cribbed the specific translations from my Kenkyusha J-E dictionary.)

In other words, I think (hope?) it’s more likely a playful scene from everyday life: taking out the trash, a husband joking with his wife, not a vicious argument.

Some more context from my experiences living in Japan:

  • Single family homes usually take their trash out to a specified street corner or other nearby location. Garbage is separated into a bewildering number of categories, with pickups on different days of the week: recyclables, oversized items, dangerous goods, etc. Because space is such a premium it’s often surprising what you might see in the “oversized” location: brand-new looking furniture, perfectly operational TVs/appliances, etc.

  • “Mansions” and apartments usually have a covered area on the ground level with different spaces for the same thing.

  • Many locales require you to purchase specially colored bags and stickers for the various types of trash. Japan really does try to recycle stuff rather than just play-acting, so the rules can be particularly onerous. In Kobe, for example, plastic water bottles (ペットボトル) must have the tops placed in one bag and the bottles themselves with all labels removed go into another. This makes sense to me as they are different types of plastic, but it’s unimaginable in the US.

  • It’s not uncommon to see crazed-looking housewives in curlers and pajamas running down the street with a bag of some particular type of trash, realizing they’ve forgotten the pickup day/time.


It’s not uncommon the see a crazed KJules in her apartment sorting and googling rules, tbh. In my town the 粗大ゴミ can’t just be taken out, I have to schedule it with the city. But, we can leave the plastic bottle caps on.


I think a good argument for that could be that the 5-7-5 format splits 粗大 and ゴミ so it may not be a reference to the colloquial meaning. But オレ and おまえ are what lead me to believe that it’s supposed to sound rough.


If I be our home’s / couch to be trashed, you / dear, are toxic waste!

Obviously, the pun on trash is lost in my translation. Then again, if one doesn’t know about the trash handling culture in Japan, there is no way to get it across in a poem, methinks.

Your translation captures the spirit of it well indeed…

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It just seems odd to me for senryu to have a mean/vicious rather than joking tone.

I think the choice of words is more familiar than rough. It’s common for comedians to use the ore/omae forms (Downtown, for example).

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Yeah, sorry, that’s what I meant by rough. Like, Way of the House Husband where there’s an inversion on the trope. I suppose that’s part of the problem with English translations: you’re almost always going to over- or under-shoot the tone.

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