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サラリーマン川柳 (Salaryman Senryu)

The Salaryman Senryu contest started in 1987 by The DAI-ICHI Life insurance company. The contest is held annually. The top 100 for this year was just announced and I always enjoy reading them. "Senryu (also called human haiku) is an unrhymed Japanese verse consisting of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables (5, 7, 5) or 17 syllables in all. Senryu is usually written in the present tense and only references to some aspect of human nature or emotions. They possess no references to the natural world and thus stand out from nature/seasonal haiku." They are sometimes cynical and humorous. Many of them use the "hot" word of that year. I see many "AI" "SNS" "ライン”(communication app) "プレミアム"(Premium Friday is a campaign to promote consumer spending advocated by the Japanese government and Japanese business organizations.) "電子化" (converting into electoronic form) and so on this year. Also it represents the Japanese humbleness well. Many of those Senryu are called "自虐ネタ” (Jigyaku Neta means self-deprecating joke) For example, the fourth prized Senryu for this year "効率化 進めて気づく 俺が無駄” (kouritsuka- work efficiency, susumetekiduku- noticed as it proceeded, oregamuda- I was the one useless/waste) My favorite was the 10th place Senryu "ほらあれよ 連想ゲームに 花が咲く" (horaareyo- that, you know, rensouge-muni - word association game, hanagasaku - lit. flowers are blooming. here, came alive) I can empathize with this easily now that I'm in obachan age. This is a common scene at my lunch date with my Japanese friends.

"ほら、あれね、あのドラマ” - that drama, you know that...that...

”うん、あれいいよね”  - yes I do. that is a good one.

”あの俳優さんがいいよね、名前忘れちゃったけど” - that actor is the best. I forgot his name though ”そうそう、かっこいいよね〜わかるよ、わかる。名前出てこないけど、背が高くて声が渋い人でしょ” - right, he's so cool. I know exactly who you are talking about. I can't recall his name either but the tall guy with subdued voice, right?

I hope you enjoy reading those Senryu, too!

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