nichijou 04: shaved ice

Kakigoori (shaved ice with syrup) served to a cat.

Kakigoori (shaved ice) served to a cat.

The Wikipedia article on kakigoori, for those unfamiliar with it.

In the form of a senryuu with a mora pattern of 5-6-5, the talking cat expresses his displeasure at being served kakigoori.

かき氷 こんな飯は こおりごり

konna meshi wa

Bowl of shaved ice
This as my dinner

(koori: ice;
korigori: fed up with it, had enough of it, want no more of it, etc;
koorigori: a pun on koori + korigori.)


katanagatari 01: shinobinai

A ninja in conversation.

(right) A ninja in conversation.


“I’m not a swordsman after all. If I was gonna let myself get beaten by you thanks to obsessing over a katana, I shinobi calling myself a ninja… Oh man, was that a sick pun there or what?!”

(shinobinai means “can’t stand it” and contains the word shinobi, another word for “ninja”.)


zaregoto 4: bad mood

「うん? いーちゃん、何かあったの? ちょっとご機嫌斜めそうだよ。七十五度くらい」
“Hm? Did something happen, Ii-chan? It’s like your mood’s suddenly turned. About a hundred and fifty degrees”
(or: mood swing, same analogy)

The increase in angle from 75 degrees is because a “diagonal” mood is a bad mood in Japanese, but not in English. To express a change in English using an angle, we’d normally talk about doing “a 180” (from good to bad). I chose a number here that seems as arbitrary as 75, but is still close enough to the standard idiom for it to make sense.

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nichijou 01: a tanka

School principal reading a tanka

誕生日 よかれと思って プレゼント 弥勒菩薩は いらぬとスルー 校長

yokare to omotte
miroku bosatsu wa
iranu to suruu —Kouchou

This is a tanka poem (mora pattern 5-7-5-7-7).
In English, 3-5-3-5-5 seems appropriate.

Your birthday
I carefully chose
Your present
Maitreya statue;
Unwanted, ignored —Principal

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nichijou 03: helvetica standard

A tengu talks with his landlady.

A tengu talks with his landlady.


Landlady: “If there’s anything else you need, don’t hesitate to ask!”
“Really?! Well… in that case… maybe I could ask… for a little money…”
“How dare you take advantage of someone’s kindness like that. You ought to be red in the face.
“I’m sorry.”

(Literal: “Don’t go becoming tengu just because I was a little kind to you.”
tengu: 1. a type of youkai with a red face and long nose;
2. a conceited or arrogant person.)

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