Friday, May 22, 2009

Salaryman Senryū

There's a yearly contest for the best "Salaryman Senryū" (comic Haiku), and this years top ten has just been announced for your reading pleasure. Unlike haiku the composition rules for senryū are relaxed; there's no absolute demand that it adhere strictly to a 5-7-5 pattern for instance. You could see this as a finger on the pulse of the life of the corporate worker; if that's the case, then this year he's worried about growing fat and about losing his job.

My Japanese is pretty bad, still, and I have all the poetic verve of a cement mixer; nevertheless, here's a couple of my favorites in translation:

#4 about a fad diet:

朝バナナ 効果があったの お店だけ
"Morning Banana" \ its benefits extended \ only to the shop

#5 "metabo", weight increase:

やせたのは 一緒に歩いた 犬の方
excess weight got lost \ when we walked together \ only by the dog

#7 about cost cutting - including bonuses and raises - in the workplace

コスト下げ やる気も一緒に 下げられる
company cuts costs \ they get cut together with \ my motivation

1 comment:

  1. Very good. Here's Our Man's:

    Slaves to computer screen/ dream of free time/ but end up blogging


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