Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Skeleton, you are my friend. But you are made of bone."

Dai-Ichi Life Insurance holds annual poetry contest for senryu, which are similar to haiku but shed a cynical light on human nature. A salaryman POV on the economy and culture and work and family, a hundred are posted here in Japanese. Here are poor translations of some:

2. Papa is director. At home, Mama is president.

4. "Staff!" My wife calls in the morning of garbage day.

6. To my children, I teach again the Prime Minister's name. (which has changed three times in as many years.)

9. On my wife's list of obligation chocolate is my name. ("Giri choco" is bought for coworkers, whereas "honmei choko" is for the one you love.)

10. Submitting a letter of resignation, "I entrust it to you," only happens in dramas.

16. A good boss without seeing or saying can praise skill.

17. The wasteful state of things is more than we deserve.

18. Work decreasing, free time increasing, no place to be.

20. "Welcome home." For the sake of that smiling face, I work.

21. Coming home to Mom's cooking - five stars.

22. Having a skill kept secret, retirement soon.

28. "My workplace is guarding my home," says my son.

31. "You resemble your father," is said to a daughter, who weeps.

32. The navigation system saying, "Welcome home," heals me.

33. I had a dream where I had a dream, but it was a dream.

41. Lunch is, more than low-calorie, low cost.

43. Pretending like I don't understand in front of my wife.

45. Not saying welcome home, a sleeping person's breathing, makes me relieved.

46. Overseeing various things in name only is management.

48. "Let's break up!!" I want to yell in a pointless meeting.

50. The morning banana had an effect only in the stores. (the banana diet was a fad for a few months.)

54. Reading as a hobby, used to be new books, now the library.

56. From having no income comes an efficient diet.

57. You do it!! If it goes well I will do it too.

59. A high yen, I want to appreciate it but I have no yen.

61. Don't throw it away! The country is unlike your schoolwork.

62. For an adult, a child's level of shame is insufficient.

63. The capable person, the incapable me is indebted to.

78. My wife though a domestic product is poison. (about all the unsafe food imported from China.)

79. It's been a long time, at the employment agency, school reunion.

84. You in the distance, my life's wages, have surpassed.

91. Again it doesn't come... Money is supposed to go around the world.

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