If you want to get something off your chest these days, there are many ways to do it. My parents post on Facebook, my friends upload videos to YouTube and almost everyone sounds off on Twitter. For Japan’s army of サラリーマン (sararīman, “salarymen” or office workers), however, there’s the サラリーマン川柳コンクール (Sararīman Senryū Konkūru, Senryu for Salaried Workers Contest).

川柳 (senryū) are short poems in three lines and with 17 morae (which are like syllables). They follow the same structure as 俳句 (haiku), but instead of describing nature they will usually focus on the triumphs and tribulations of everyday life.

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