Paycheck messages

star flowers on path
star flowers on path

I get paid on the 21st of each month for the previous month’s work.  It was tough the first month I worked here… started work on June 1st, and wasn’t paid until the 21st of July. Just one more thing I had to adjust to and made the first few months here financially precarious.

beach sandals drying
beach sandals drying

Now that things are a bit more stable, I have noticed that my paycheck statement has more information than the amount of my earnings and deductions. Which, by the way, for July 2009 was 289,200 yen and 38,249 yen deducted (12,207 for health insurance and 19,955 for the national pension plan, plus assorted other stuff).  Above all the figures is short seasonal message that is sometimes encouraging, sometimes cautionary and always makes me laugh.

A compilation of the Saiki  City paycheck messages July 2008-July 2009 (Heisei Year 20 and 21).  Loose translations- better wording suggestions appreciated.

July 2008 ジメジメした梅雨が過ぎれば、ジリジリした夏です。何事もほどほどに。

Once the sticky rainy season ends, the scorching summer arrives. Use moderation in everything. This message uses 3 onomatopoetic expressions: jimejime (sticky), jirijiri (scorching), and hodohodo (moderately).

August 2008 そういうワケで夏本番です。夏やせの人も、夏太りのあなたも、水分補給

Summer has arrived. Whether you are a person who loses weight in the summer or a person who gains weight, be sure to drink plenty of fluids (stay hydrated). The  Japanese version reads more like “for people who lose weight in the summer and for you who gain weight…” This made me feel a little self-conscious and I wondered if someone saw me eating ice cream on those hot summer nights.

Tabloid Headlines following the death of MJ
Tabloid Headlines following the death of MJ

September 2008 やっぱり運動会は秋ですね。どうでしょうか!もう一度、この秋にやってみては.

As expected, Fall is the season for Sports Festivals. What do you say? Let’s have another Sports Festival this fall. This is in response to the fact that the local sports festivals always held in Fall were rescheduled for May and June because the National Games were held in this prefecture last Fall. Not everyone was happy, but several schools have decided to stick with the change for this year, too.

October 2008 秋らしい気候になりました。早いもので今年も3ヶ月、休み休み働いていきましょう。

Autumn-like weather has arrived. There are only 3 months left in the year, take occasional breaks while working. huh? I guess, encouragement to just keep plugging along.

Tanabata display in school- children write wishes and attach them to a decorated bamboo cutting
Tanabata display in school- children write wishes and attach them to a decorated bamboo cutting

November 2008 朝夕、寒くなりました。体調管理に気をつけてくだい、風邪をひいたらすぐ帰宅。

Mornings and evenings are now getting cold. Please take care of your health, if you come down with a cold, go home immediately. No mention that my pay is docked if I leave early.

December 2008 嬉しいことに今年のお正月休みは例年より長くなっているので、ゆっくりしてください。

We can be happy that this  year’s New Year Holiday is longer than usual, please relax. Don’t need to be reminded, but wish that Christmas had also been a day off.

Bonus Check 2008 今年も残すところ1ヶ月になりました。寒さに負けず、そこそこ頑張りましょう。

There is only one month left this year. Keep working hard,  don’t give in to the cold. Okay.

January 2009 お正月 謹賀新年。お正月に体重の増えて方、そうでない方、今年もよろしくお願いします。

Happy New Year. To those who gained weight over New Year’s and those who didn’t,  thanks in advance for everything this year. Now I am sorry I took December’s advice to relax, I should have been out exercising.

Tanabata wishes: "I want to be a baseballpalyer like Ichiro." "I want to be artist."
Tanabata wishes: "I want to be a baseball player like Ichiro." "I want to be an artist."

February 2009 今年のインフルエンザはタミフルが効かないようです。酒でも飲まないと防げませんよ。

Tamiflu is ineffective in treating this year’s flu. You’ll need to drink alcohol to aid in prevention! Great medical advice from the Board of Education.

March 2009 きれいな桜を眺めて、おいしいお酒を飲むとき、日本人に生まれて良かったとおもいます。

When drinking delicious sake while looking at the cherry blossoms, I am so glad to have been born Japanese. That’s not a shared experience. Who writes these messages, anyway?

"I want a gas-powered" rifle for the mountains. One that uses bullets, please." Rural Japan
"I want a gas-powered" rifle for the mountains. One that uses bullets, please." Rural Japan

April 2009 さあ、ゴールデンウィークです。今年も休み休みいきましょう。

It’s now Golden Week. Take it in small breaks. Not completely sure what this means, maybe because it’s such a long holiday, they are encouraging us to take it easy and not use up the whole break in one surge of relaxation.??

May 2009 これから海外旅行の予定のある貴方、世界は新型インフルエンザです。家に居なさい。

For those of you who are planning to travel overseas, there is a worldwide flu outbreak.  Stay home. I am not sure if this is a warning or a command, but I already had my ticket for the summer.

June 2009 いよいよビールの美味しい季節になりました。綱紀粛清です。

It’s now the season of delicious beer. It’s (also also the season of) tightening discipline for public employees. Our city workers are under intense scrutiny because of the bribery scandals last year, they don’t want any more negative attention.

Weathered Statue- Kobo Daishi?
Weathered Statue- Kobo Daishi?

Summer (measly) Bonus 2009 ゆく半年、くる半年。これからも休み休み働いていきましょう。

Halfway through the year, take occasional breaks while working. Repeated encouragement from October.

July 2009 いや~厚いですね。外を歩けば、身体が溶けてしまうんじゃないかと心配になります。

Wow, it’s really hot. Walking outdoors, one worries that one’s body will melt away. That’s not what I worry about, but it is really hot.

So there you have it. Words of advice from the city of Saiki- a whole year’s worth.

Tanabata is a celebration on July 7th  that celebrates the meeting of two constellations Vega and Altair. Children write wishes on strips of paper and tie them to decorated bamboo poles.

Off to Portland at the end of the week. Yay!

2 thoughts on “Paycheck messages

  1. Jeanne July 22, 2009 / 10:41 pm

    Love that February medical advice. Have a great trip.

    • katezawa July 22, 2009 / 10:48 pm

      Thanks. In less than 24 hours I will be on a train on the first leg of the long ride home.

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