Intro-2 A slogan TANKA

■Introduction of real TANKA(短歌):PART-II■★A slogan TANKA

(AUDIO/VISUAL TUTORIAL)★A slogan TANKA… an example of Japanese TANKA(短歌) too prosaic to enable meaningful translation, only to become a largely word-for-word transplant of original terms from Japanese into English


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■Introduction of real TANKA(短歌) : Part II■

★A slogan TANKA… an example of Japanese TANKA(短歌) too prosaic to enable meaningful translation, only to become a largely word-for-word transplant of original terms from Japanese into English

(in 5-7-5-7-7 Japanese syllables)

《Sakurabana, Fujiyama, Geisha, Omotenashi, Karaoke ni Moe, kore zo Nippon》

さくらばなふじやまげいしゃおもてなしからおけにもえこれぞにっぽん

<桜花冨士山芸者おもてなしカラオケに萌え是ぞ日本>

『サクラの花見に、富士登山、芸者ガールでおもてなし、カラオケ歌って萌えキャラ満喫、これぞニッポンいまのこの国』

さくらばな【桜花】〔名〕<NOUN:cherry blossoms, the most beloved of Japanese flowers>

ふじやま【冨士山】〔名〕<NOUN:Mt. Fuji, the highest and most famous of all Japanese mountains>

げいしゃ【芸者】〔名〕<NOUN:a geisha girl, charming hostess in traditional Japanese KIMONO>

おもてなし【お持て成し】〔名〕<NOUN:hospitality, awkwardly accentuated Japanese virtue in its attempt to invite Summer Olympic Games in 2020 to Tokyo>

からおけ【カラオケ】〔名〕<NOUN:KARAOKE, instrumental music of popular songs intentionally devoid of singing voice for anyone to sing along to play a would-be professional singer, an almost mandatory national pastime for the Japanese; derived from KARA(=empty of singing voice)-ORCHE[STRA], not from KARA-OK!(Empty-minded? No problem!)>

に【に】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(ADDITION):and, also>

もえ【萌え】〔名〕<NOUN:amorous feelings toward someone/something practically unreachable such as animation characters or pop idols, mainly referring to the eerie attitude of young male Japanese who are more interested in virtual love-affairs than in physical intimacy with actual women>

これ【これ】〔代名〕<PRONOUN:this, it>

ぞ【ぞ】〔係助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(EMPHATIC)>

にっぽん【日本】〔名〕<NOUN:Japan>



●The least poetic and most prolific type of 5-7-5-7-7(GO-SHICHI-GO-SHITTY-SHITTY!)

 You saw the KANA(かな); you saw the explanation; then, the work is over… just recite the Japanese KANA(かな) whether in totally flat Japanese fashion or in a colorful GAIJIN(外人=foreigner) way, and the message is already transmitted, because this 5-7-5-7-7 Japanese is not so much a poem as an incantation, often with a commercial view to promoting something. This is the easiest to make of all Japanese TANKA(短歌) and, of course, the commonest to be found among commoners’ repertoire of forcibly squeezed 五(GO:5)七(SHICHI:7)五(GO:5)七(SHICHI:7)七(SHICHI:7).



(in 10 English words)

Sakurabana, Fujiyama, Geisha, Omotenashi, Karaoke and Moe, this is Japan

 …Don’t blame me for pulling my punches; I’m just hitting as hard as I can! The fact is, there is no sense in trying to transplant the 5-7-5-7-7 syllabled Japanese SLOGAN into as many words in English: it won’t say anything more; indeed it will end up saying much less than the 10-word incantation. In SLOGANS, the less you throw in, the better… confirm this truth in the following tepid example:



(in 5-7-7-7, short of 5-7-5-7-7 English words)

Cherry trees and Mt. Fuji,

Geisha girls will treat you so good,

Sing along Karaoke and enjoy viewing Moe,

That is all Japan has to offer.



 …Will you still blame me for pulling my punches by 5 words in the middle?… OK, count five or count ten and declare me beaten; it’s a losing battle anyway. An easy SLOGAN TANKA is unworthy of any serious appreciation, let alone translation.