(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

おならにもかちょうのしめしつけるおと

baseline translation (aka this is not my submission just an idea of what I believe I’m working with): Even a fart sets a good example when it comes from the head of house

Senryu的
Master of the house
sets good examples
even when farting.

Eh, 4-5-5 not the worst syllable count

To start with notes
示し付かない means according to jisho “to set a bad example to others” and looking up in Japanese, it’s to specifically make a bad example to show someone how something is done. The problem that I’m having is that the 川柳 is in a negative form
(EDIT) so my brain isn’t firing on all pistons this morning, and forgot I could look up the actual phrase instead of the only one found on jisho. lol. There I found the meaning to be “setting a good example for the kouhai/ newer members of a team”

2 Likes

I had latched on to the negative meaning of set a bad example, but you are right that it is not in the negative. Could it be sarcastic/ambiguous? My take is a wife frustrated that her husband keeps farting around the kids.

ah, the sound of a fart.
our patriarch, yet again,
setting an example

4 Likes

I agree it’s gotta be sarcastic lol. I figured others would get latched onto the more common negative trend as I also was pulled into it so I’m glad my note helped!

2 Likes

Wednesday, September 28, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. おならにも家長のしめし付ける音
    おならにも・かちょうのしめし・つけるおと
    even with a / fart, the house-master / shows us the way

Notes:

  • Had to play with this a bit. I think @weaverZ captured the meaning, but 6-7-6 seemed a bit long.

  • Let me know if you prefer that version, though, and I’ll switch it back.

  • (しめ)しを付ける means to set an example of how to conduct oneself properly.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Seniors

  1. 肩叩き券不渡りにして孫帰り

No hints today. I need some time to dissect 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! Questions and comments are as valued as translation submissions.

Please try not to be disappointed if your translation isn’t selected or if you disagree with the daily choice: the judge isn’t terribly consistent with his grading (and has awful taste!).
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.


かたたたきけんふわたりにしてまごかえり

Trot: shoulder pounding/massage ticket didn’t get processed/bounced because granchild went home

Massage coupon,
unable to cash;
grandchild went home

Notes: so I am guessing the op was relying on the grandkid to give a shoulder pounding massage to them, but got cut short by them leaving. which the 不渡り was listed as “a check bouncing” or “not being processed” maybe it was something similar to those “give a chore coupon book!” ideas around birthdays and holidays to your family. Or its just metaphorical. Either way, the syllable count is awful

2 Likes


Oh! Yeah. That makes sense. I was thinking it was a ticket for a professional masseuse at first. But I think you’re right, it’s just a handwritten “free shoulder massage” ticket created by the grandkid.

1 Like

My chief quibble with this is that it omits the “sound”. If I understand the structure correctly, the rest of the poem is a modifier of that final 音, and makes it in a way the most important word in the poem. I imagine the author hearing that fart and seething in frustration but being unable to address it directly.

4 Likes

Ok, being brave and trying this one w/o looking at other comments first.

肩叩き券不渡りにして孫帰り
かたたたきけんふわたりにしてまごかえり

I’m assuming that the “request to resign” meaning of 肩叩き is the one at play here. So I take the overall meaning to be “my grandkid who lost their job and can’t even afford the train ticket is coming home” Not ready to try a translation- this is another tricky one where the imagery of the foreboding shoulder tap isn’t readily conveyed in english.

Now to look what the rest of you have had to say and see if I hit anywhere near the mark!
Edit: ok, I see we are very different! I’m not sure that I’m wrong, though. Anyone else have any opinions/insight?

1 Like

“request to resign” meaning of 肩叩き

I did not know of this! This can make sense either way too. I’m gonna ask a native speaker now :0

1 Like

かたたたきけんふわたりにしてまごかえり

massage coupon
bounced due to grandchild
heading back home

I also think it’s the “massage ticket” meaning. That seems to make the most sense from the context of the rest of the poem, and also fits the theme and the sort of general vibe I get from senryu haha. But I could very well be wrong.

2 Likes

Saturday, October 1, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 肩叩き券不渡りにして孫帰り
    かたたたきけんふわたりにしてまごかえり
    massage coupon / bounced due to grandchild / heading back home

Notes:

  • I thought “bounced” was a nice poetic interpretation for 不渡り

  • The key was realizing the “ticket” was one of those hand-written things that kids sometimes make to give out as rewards: “good for one free shoulder massage”.

  • 肩叩きされる is also a colloquial expression for being pressured to retire early, but this connotation seems unrelated.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Intense

  1. 損をした話は人に喜ばれ

This one seems like it will be difficult to interpret (at least I’m not confident in my understanding).

My initial interpretation: “Depending on who it’s with, losing an argument can be a a good thing”.


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! Questions and comments are as valued as translation submissions.

Please try not to be disappointed if your translation isn’t selected or if you disagree with the daily choice: the judge isn’t terribly consistent with his grading (and has awful taste!).
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.

そんをしたはなしはひとによろこばれ

Can’t really find a way to make it as poem, seems to fit better in one sentence.

People love a good loss-story

This senryuu is a 体言止め, like so many of them are, but as usual it’s a bit clunky to translate directly in English. “The delight of people over a loss-story?”

I did some research about 損をした話 but couldn’t find any specific meaning, it really seems to be something as vague as “loss-story”. Monetary loss, time wasting, getting ripped-off or taking advantage off, come off as a loser, suffer a loss… The only unfortunate thing is that 損 seems to never be about losing someone, which “loss-story” could imply.

So in the end I’m not sure what’s the senryuu is aiming at… People gloat over the misfortune of others? But why in the 強烈 volume? :thinking:

5 Likes

損をした話は人に喜ばれ

そんをした・はなしはひとに・よろこばれ
(Or, “On schadenfreude”)

3-4-3
The talk of
other’s loss makes
one feel good

Couple of the senryus that I missed while I was absconding were quite interesting. Particularly, the おならにも… (brought to mind the ancient Japanese 屁合戦 scroll) and 肩たたき券… (these tickets seem to have spawned an industry)

5 Likes

Monday, October 3, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 損をした話は人に喜ばれ
    そんをした・はなしはひとに・よろこばれ
    The talk of / other’s loss makes / one feel good

Welcome back @LaVieQ.

Not sure why, but for some reason my brain wanted to interpret this one as 人によって. It does seem more likely that it’s just about pure schadenfreude, though.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Salaryman

  1. 無料でも 家族間での 通話なし

I think I must be missing some context again. I can read all the words but the meaning hasn’t clicked yet.


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! Questions and comments are as valued as translation submissions.

Please try not to be disappointed if your translation isn’t selected or if you disagree with the daily choice: the judge isn’t terribly consistent with his grading (and has awful taste!).
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.

PS: the ‘previous senryu’ block has the wrong text and the hyperlink/text is odd for the 語源由来辞典…

I think this one is the author lamenting that nobody in the family calls to see how they are / have a chat / etc, even though in these days of internet calls and mobiles they no longer have the excuse that phone calls cost money. (Maybe this one’s harder to see for US residents, who I think have been used to free local calls even back in the days when all you had was a landline?)

3 Likes

Thanks for the heads up. Both fixed.

Also, I think you may be right about why this one was difficult for me to easily grasp. ()たり()(かん)

1 Like

無料でも 家族間での 通話なし

むりょうでも・かぞくあいだで・のつうわなし
(assuming that つう is counted as one mora)

CORRECTION:
むりょうでも・かぞくかんでの・つうわなし
(It is 5-7-5, after all! Thanks to @Myria for pointing out alternate usage of かん reading for 間. Mea culpa.)

2-4-2
Free calls,
yet… family
won’t phone

  • Painful memories of AT&T (telephone monopoly in the US at that time) phone bills from the 80’s…
5 Likes

The 5-7-5 works out much better if you put かぞくかん for 家族間 :slight_smile:

3 Likes

I wasn’t familiar with the “inter-” meaning of 間, which I am now, thanks to you pointing it out.

Trying to find examples of compound words that use 間 as a 接尾 with the above meaning was challenging, though, as they are not easily found in dictionaries. I ended up using DeepL, where, by attaching various nouns in front of 間, I found a few words that made sense (e.g. 夫婦間 - between husband and wife、大学間 - intercollegiate、会社間 - inter-company、州間 - interstate、人間間 - interpersonal…) and then searching for their use in sentences with Weblio to confirm that the word is indeed valid and not a DeepL artifact. :wink:

Just wondering if there’s a simpler way to locate such compound words and related examples without having to do the app acrobatics that I did. Hope someone here knows…

1 Like

For in particular 家族間 I looked it up in ALC Eijiro, which lists some collocations/phrases that use it, with English translations. I don’t know anything that would let you search to find other words that use the suffix, though.

1 Like