Puns (dajare)

for temple Denbo-In, see below

Puns, dajare 駄洒落 ダジャレ, だじゃれ

Puns, share-kotoba しゃれ言葉, were very popular in Old Edo.
Dajare is also called "local dialect" jiguchi 地口.

In Old Edo, many people from all parts of Japan lived side by side.
Puns and playw with words were often used when people met for the first time to break the ice, so to speak, and make them feel comfortable. A person who could not tell a good pun was thought of rater dull (yabo やぼ 野暮), a country bumpkin.

yabo is itself a deformation of the word  「野夫」 a worker from the countryside.

hara ga herima daikon 腹が減りま大根

ari ga too nara imo mushi hatachi
ありが十(とお)なら いもむし二十(はたち)
蟻が十なら、芋虫ゃ二十 > ありがとうなら、いもむしはたち

kon te wa kuwana no yaki-hamaguri
その手は桑名の焼きはまぐり >
「その手は桑名い」 > 「その手は食わない」

osore iriya no kishibojin
「恐れ入谷の鬼子母神」 > 「恐れ入りました」 > 「恐れいりやした」
Kishibojin is the deity of a famous temple in Iriya.

atari maeda no kurakka

「馬勝った~牛負けた」 >

sore wa zannen binshiken
Ganen was a famous student of Confucius and well known at the temple schools of Edo.
Ganen > zannen

Here is a LINK with a lot more in Japanese
語呂合わせ goro awase


jiguchi andon 地口行灯 lanterns with puns and paintings

People painted a pun with image and words on a lantern for the annual festival of Chingo-Do 鎮護堂 in Asakusa, usually called おたぬきさん Otanuki-San at the temple 伝法院 Denbo-In

Denboin doori 伝法院通り Denboin-dori, Road along Denbo-In
famous for this custom to our day ! About 200 meters with the atmosphere of "Old Edo".
Denbo-In also has a famous garden.
- reference : denbouin-dori.com/midokoro-

- quote -
Denbo-in Teien Garden 伝法院庭園
Walking on Nakamise Street to Hozo-mon Gate and crossing Denbo-in-dori Street, you can find a solemn front gate at the secluded place from the left. Going through the front gate, you arrive at Denbo-in Temple which is the office of Senso-ji Temple and also the residence for head priest for generations. The garden covering the greater part of Denbo-in Temple is separated from the bustle of tourists, and a calm air is blowing among the garden. Here is one of the few temple gardens from the Edo period in Tokyo.
This garden is estimated to be originally landscaped in the Middle Ages. Old drawings and the style of landscape show that the present allocation of space arranging ponds on the north and west side of buildings is unchanged from the early Edo period.
Looking at the west pond from Ojoin (large drawing room) facing the garden, you see a large artificial hill on the left, the stone arrangement which represents a three-step dry fall from the top of the hill and the sandy beach which represents the water surface. Turning your eyes to the center, an undulating shore in islands spreads out. 
Strolling around the pond and standing on the island on the opposite side of Ojoin, you can see a full view of the fivestoried pagoda through the sandy beach arranging stepping-stones and Ojoin. Viewing the north shore which is gently undulating in contrast to the west, it is better to see standing on the stone bridge across a stream joining each pond. 
Denbo-in Teien was a secret garden as even the daimyo were not easily allowed to visit, because Denbo-in Temple was used as Gozen-sho (the place Tokugawa shoguns took a meal or rest) when they came. However, when the precinct of Senso-ji Temple was designated as a public park in 1873, this garden had been open to the public by Tokyo from 1930 to the outbreak of the Pacific War. At present, here is open to the public for a certaion period by Senso-ji Temple. This garden hands down the atmosphere of the Edo period to now, which was mostly lost from Asakusa in the Great Kanto Earthquakes and the Pacific War.
- source : syougai.metro.tokyo.... -


source : kakinokidai.web.fc2.com/JiguchiAndon


目出だるま me ga deru
to have good luck

The eyes of a dice, wishing for a SIX to win in gambling.

乗蓮寺 Temple Jooren-Ji
目が出る、が転じて 芽が出る、にかけているだるま。駄洒落!? と思ってしまう授与品が多いのも、神社めぐりの楽しみのひとつ。

More items for good luck on this LINK


dajare e-uta 駄洒落絵歌 Pun with Song and Picture

Da da Daruma no ningyoo wa
shaberitakute mo shaberenai

黙々だるま の 人形は
しゃべりたくとも しゃべれない
ぎょろり目玉で 世の中を
怒った顔して にらんでる

Copyright (C) 2004 Sora Eizo

Look at the Daruma on this LINK to see him develop as you read the full poem.

ANIME only





Here is a bit more on the ants ARI GA 蟻が play with words.
This is all a word joke on ARIGATOO, thank you.

3月9日は「サンキューの日」 Sankyuu の日 > Thank You !

「蟻が十匹猿五匹」 > (ありがとうござる)
「蟻が鯛なら芋虫ゃ鯨、百足汽車なら蝿が鳥」(信州) > (ありがたい)

.............................A Set of Contrasts

puns with the words katta and maketa
one is winning, one is loosing

kowakatta - oya maketa
恐かった~ : 子は勝った 親負けた

kayukatta - meshi maketa
痒かった  : 粥勝った  飯負けた

takakatta - tonbi maketa
高かった  : 鷹勝った  とんび負けた

amakatta - boozu maketa
甘かった  : 尼勝った  坊主負けた

fukakatta - same maketa (fuka and same are names for the shark)
深かった  : 鱶勝った  鮫負けた



kono ikura wa ikura このイクラはいくら How much costs this salmon roe?

konya kuu no wa konnyaku 今夜食うのは蒟蒻
tonight I am going to eat Konnyaku (devil's tongue jelly)

shio ga nai no wa shoo ga nai 塩がないのはしょうがない
It can’t be helped if there is no salt available.

sukii ga suki スキーが好き I like skiing


In our modern times, there is even English involved in the

oyaji gyagu おやじギャグ gags of elderly men

imakita sangyoo 今北産業 "now North Industry" -
ima kita 今来た I just joined, just came
san gyoo 三行 three lines, entering into an online conversation

Modern Pun-Ordering at the Sushi bar:

gareeji ガレージ garage - shako 車庫 - shako 蝦蛄 Shako shrimp

reinkooto レインコート raincoat - kappa 合羽 - kappamaki かっぱ巻き


Tokyo is situated in the Musashi plain 武蔵平野
MU SA SHI 。。。六三四 - 6 3 4
So when the tower had to be just a bit higher than the tower in China, they decided to make it

634 meters high.

. Tokyo Sky Tree 東京スカイツリー Skytree .


Puzzle pictures, Rebus of Old Edo, hanji-e 判じ絵





Anonymous said...

A pun is not dissimilar to the Japanese "pivot-word" (kake kotoba).

The American poet Kenneth Rexroth, in his introduction to "One Hundred Poems from the Japanese," says:

"The 'kake kotoba' or pivot word is a word or part of a word employed in two senses, or, very rarely, in three, one relating to
what precedes, the other to what follows. It is a device not unknown to late Latin and it turns up now and then in English humor and frequently in James Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake." The word 'matsu', for example, is often used in the sense of 'pine' and 'long for' exactly as in the English 'pine' and 'pine.'. . .

"The pivot word shades into the pun, and some Japanese poems have so many puns that they may have two or more quite dissimilar meanings. A good example is the poem of the Stewerdess of the Empress Kooka [(Kooka Mon-in no Bettoo) was the daughter of Fujiwara no Toshitaka and lived in the twelfth century], discussed in the notes."

Here is the poem:

Naniwa e no
Ashi no kari ne no
Hito yo yue
Mi wo tsukushite ya
Koi wataru beki

Rexroth's main translation is:

For the sake of a night
Short as the nodes
Of the reeds of Naniwa
Must I live on,
My flesh wasted with longing?

Rexroth's alternate translation is:

"For the sake of a joint of a reed of Naniwa Bay, shall I wade past
the depth-measuring gauge."


Joan Giroux, in "The Haiku Form" says:

"The 'kake-kotoba' (pivot-word) is a sort of pun in which, as Yamagiwa writes, a single sequence of syllables is made to pivot from
one meaning to another in the course of a sentence.

Kome kai ni
Yuki no fukuro ya

Going to buy rice
The snow-covered bag
As a kerchief.

"'Yuki', in this poem by Basho, means both 'going' and 'snow.' The haiku is, literally: rice-buying / going-snow bag / kerchief. The use
of the cutting-word 'ya' to project the thought ahead is well
illustrated. The pivot word is 'yuki,' which performs a different sytactical function in each of the two word groups on either side of it."

Ms. Giroux goes on to say that of the three following technical aspects of Japanese aiku, 'kireji' (cutting-word), 'makura-kotoba'
(pillow-word), and 'kake-kotoba' (pivot-word), "it is perhaps the
third which is the greatest single differentiating factor between
Japanese and English haiku."


Here is an example from Buson's writings, although I don't know have the original Japanese. This is from "Haiku Master Buson" by Shiffert and Sawa. It is from "New Flower Picking" (Shin Hanatsumi). At one point while Buson is staying at a temple, he is frightened by a ghostly badger:

"When I had moaned, the Reverend Chikukei had hurried to me in the
darkness with his sash untied and kimono open in front, and now, his
round testicles were seen like rice bags. White hairs were growing over them so that his important part was hidden.
Since his youth he had had the itch there and had always been pulling and scratching at himself. He looked like that famous Shukaku priest did when he dozed from reading Buddhist sutras. With such thoughts, I felt embarrassed, but then the Reverend Chikukei laughed and recited:

'Autumn again [hanging down!]
Camphor wood of eight mats size [badger's balls],
the Golden Pavilion Temple [itching balls].'"


Anonymous said...

Language expert finds Japanese people 'hilarious'


When U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms baffled journalists by proclaiming the "floccinaucinihilipilification" of an international nuclear
test ban treaty in the late 1990s, Matthew Fargo instantly figured out what he meant.

The 29-letter word, which loosely means rendering something meaningless, comprises four Latin words ・flocci (floccus), nauci (worthless), nihil (nil), and pili (fur) plus the compound suffix "fication."

He particularly likes the postwar "buraiha" school of Japanese writers known for their playful humor. He says the stereotype of Japanese as a serious people is a myth and that they are in fact "hilarious."

Read the full story here
The Japan Times, July 19, 2007

Anonymous said...

  やかましや するにしておけ姫始め 

Senryu of the Edo Period

 『日 本 人 の 笑 い 』 


Gabi Greve / donji said...

Donji  鈍字 Kanji Riddles


robin d gill said...

I believe that people interested in puns in pre-modern written Japanese will find more translated and, with transliteration+explanation, generally more understandable to non-speakers of Japanese in my books translating Mad Poems (kyouka)& senryu than in all other books and websites combined. You can read them for free on Google Books. robin d gill

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Emoticons (emoji 絵文字)
emoticon = emotion + icon

These pictograms are used to make short statements in email.
The Japanese ones are quite sophisticated.