Monday, July 19, 2021


In Japanese, uwa'... watashi no nenshuu, hiku-sugi...? うわっ・・・私の年収、低すぎ・・・?, meaning something like "yikes... my salary, it's too low...?" is a text used in an internet ad by a job-search company called @type, which featured a woman covering her mouth in shock, presumably after realizing how little she made. The ad copy became a meme, with parodies found even in manga and anime.

うわっ・・・私の髪の毛、抜けすぎ・・・? わずか5分で、部屋から数十本の毛が拾える「都合のいい合成素材」。 抜けた毛は40万本突破!? 将来がリアルに心配だ。
Manga: Shinchou Yuusha 慎重勇者 (Chapter 10, もっと恐ろしいもの)


The origin of the meme is an ad by @type which featured the same uwa'... heading followed by variations of the ad body, and varied images of women covering their mouths in shock.

Variations of a certain ad with a woman covering her mouth in shock.
Source:, accessed 2021-07-19 (for some reason, the image file is not in the body of the article, it's only found in the HTML document metadata, e.g. in the meta property="og:image" entry)

I'm not sure when exactly it was published, but there were articles written about it in 2011(うわっ私の年収・・・に出てくる女性は誰なのか), so the ad, and the meme, is around a decade old by now.

As you may notice above, there are multiple versions of the ad, with different text. The version the memes tend to be based on most of the time in this one:

うわっ・・・私の年収、低すぎ・・・? 無料5分で、適正年収やビジネス基礎能力が分かる「市場価値診断テスト」。 受けた人は40万人を突破! 結果もすぐ分かると大人気だ。 あなたの適正年収は?
Source:, accessed 2021-07-19
  • Top-right corner: @type, the company who wrote the ad. On the left, osusume jouhou おすすめ情報 means "recommended information."
  • uwa'... watashi no nenshuu φ, hiku-sugi...?
    Yikes... my yearly income, is too low...?
    • uwa' - interjection, a sort of sigh used when dumbfounded at a situation or a person: uwa'... how can this person be like this... or uwa'... how did this end up happening...? I have no idea how to translate this to English, so I'll just leave it as "yikes."
    • watashi - one of the many Japanese first person pronouns.
    • With no it forms the possessive no-adjective "my."
    • nenshuu
      The "income," shuunyuu 収入, one gets in a "single year of time," ichi-nen-kan 一年間.
      The yearly income. The yearly salary.
      Since this sounds a bit unnatural in English, you may also find it translated as "my salary is too low" without the "yearly" part.
    • In the pause represented by a comma is a null particle (φ).
    • hikui
      Low. (as in not high.)
    • X-sugiru
      Exceedingly X. Too much X. Too X.
      (auxiliary verb for creating compound verbs.)
  • {muryou go-fun de, tekisei nenshuu ya bijinesu kiso nouryoku ga wakaru} "shijou kachi shindan tesuto".
    The "market value diagnosis test" [with which] {in five minutes for free, [you] will know [your] suitable yearly income and base business ability}.
    • 「」 - quotation marks.
    • muryou
      Without charge. For free.
      • yuuryou
        With charge. Paid.
    • The ya や parallel marking particle used here instead of the to と particle means the test lets you know the marked "suitable yearly income," "base business ability," and other things not mentioned as well.
    • kiso nouryoku
      Base ability. Fundamental abilities.
    • This sentence includes a relative clause whose topicalization is dewa では:
      • kono tesuto de wa {anata ga {sore ga wakaru}}
        With this test, {you {will know that}}.
      • Nobody would normally say something like this, I'm just pointing out the relativized complement would be marked by de で, as opposed to wo を or ga が, if it wasn't relativized.
    • wakaru - a cognitive stative verb used in double subject constructions. Exceptionally translates to future tense, "will know," because it's a conditional future situation: if you use this test, you'll know, if you used this test, you would know, with this test "you know" becomes true in the future.
  • {uketa} hito wa yon-juu-man-nin wo toppa!
    The [number of] people [that] {received [the test]} [has] passed 400 thousand!
  • {kekka mo sugu wakaru} to dai-ninki da.
    [Because] {[you] know the results immediately}, [it] is very popular.
  • CHECK!
  • anata no tekisei nenshuu wa?
    Your suitable yearly income [is]?
    (incomplete sentence ending in the wa は topic marker.)


For reference, some examples of the phrase.

うわっ・・・私の髪の毛、抜けすぎ・・・? わずか5分で、部屋から数十本の毛が拾える「都合のいい合成素材」。 抜けた毛は40万本突破!? 将来がリアルに心配だ。
Manga: Shinchou Yuusha 慎重勇者 (Chapter 10, もっと恐ろしいもの)
  • Context: Ryuuguuin Seiya 竜宮院聖哉 tells Ristarte リスタルテ, who is a goddess, that he has been collecting the hair he finds in her room to use an ingredient for his synthesis skill, which combines two items together, because goddess hair is a valuable (?) item, so it improves whatever item it's synthesized with.
  • Hearing this, given the amount of items Seiya had crafted using her hair, Ristarte worries she'll go bald.
  • uwa'... watashi no kami no ke, nuke-sugi...?
    Yikes... my hair hairs, are falling out too much...?
    • kami - hair of the head, ke - fur, hairs individually, kami no ke - hairs of one's head hair.
    • nukeru
      To come out. To fall out. To escape. To stop being contained.
  • wazuka go-fun de, {heya kara suu-jippon no ke ga hiroeru} "{tsugou no ii} gousei sozai".
    A "{convenient} synthesis material" [that] {in just five minutes, [one] can collect [dozens] of hairs [of] from [her] room}.
    • The "convenient synthesis material" is "goddess head hair," because you "can collect hairs" of it, ke ga hiroeru, from her room.
    • suu~
      A number of. Multiple. Various.
    • ~hon
      Long, cylindrical objects.
      (counter, ~bon is rendaku 連濁,~pon is handakuonka 半濁音化.)
    • suu-jippon
      Multiple tens of [hairs].
      [Dozens] of [hairs].
    • {tsugou ga ii}
      Its {convenience is good}.
      It {is convenient}.
      (predicative clause of a double subject construction.)
  • {nuketa} ke wa yon-juu-man-bon toppa!?
    The {fallen} hair has exceeded 400 thousands!?
  • shourai ga {riaru ni} shinpai da.
    [I]'m {seriously} worried about [my] future.
    • riaru
      Real. (as opposed to virtual, fictional, or, in this case, in a sense like "things just got real," it's not a thing you can take lightly like a joke.)
Right: Ninomiya Kinji 二ノ宮キンジ
Anime: Meikyuu Black Company, 迷宮ブラックカンパニー (Episode 2)
  • Context: Ninomiya asks an ant how much the ant earns for its hard work. The answer is nothing.
  • shinjirarenai!!! omae no nenshuu φ hiku-sugi!!!
    [I] can't believe [it]!!! Your salary is too low!!!

Vocaloid Songs

Believe it or not, there's not one, but (at least) two Vocaloid songs based on this meme.

Meme Format

On Pixiv, illustrations using this meme format are tagged nenshuu hiku-sugi 年収低すぎ.(年収低すぎ)

For reference, some examples:

  • Character: Zero ゼロ, from Megaman Zero, Rockman Zero, ロックマンゼロ.
  • uwa'... watashi no rizaruto, hiku-sugi...?
    Yikes... my results, are too low...?
    • rizaruto - the term for the score (S, A, B, C, D) in the game Megaman Zero.
  • {muryou go-fun de, tekisei rizaruto ya akushon kiso nouryoku ga wakaru} "rokuzero shindan tesuto".
    The "rockzero diagnosis test" [with which] {in five minutes for free, [you] will know [your] suitable results and base action abilities}.
    • rokuzero - an abbreviation of rokkuman zero.
    • akushon - action as in "action" game.
  • {uketa} hito as hyaku-ni-juu-hachi-man-nin wo toppa!
    The [number of] people [that] {received [it]} [has] passed 1 million 280 thousand!
    • 128 is 27. As a single byte consists of 8 bits, the exclusive upper bound of a byte-length unsigned integer is 256=28, with 11111111 in binary being equal to 255 in the decimal number system. 128 is the exclusive upper bound of a signed integer instead, as one bit represents the sign of the number, i.e. whether it's a positive or negative number, e.g.:(
      • 1000000 = -128.
      • 01111111 = +127.
      • 1000000 + 01111111 = 11111111.
        -128 + +127 = -1.
      • By the way, it may feel this doesn't make sense since 11111111 (128 unsigned) is higher than 01111111 (127 unsigned), but with signed it's -1 instead, so the bits of the byte don't actually represent a binary number, and teleport to negative (-128) when it hits 128 (10000000). Presumably, it's designed this way because from 0 to 127 both signed and unsigned representations refer to the same number, e.g. 00001111 is always 63. If signed started with 00000000 as -128 instead, that wouldn't be the case, as 00001111 would be -65 signed, but 63 unsigned.
  • Because you know the results immediately, it's very popular.
    (unchanged line.)
  • anata no tekisei rizaruto wa?
    Your suitable results [are]?
  • Character: Pinkamena Diane Pie (Pinkie Pie), from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
  • Corner: MLP is the abbreviation of the series' title.
  • uwa'... watashi no niji-sousaku, kowa-sugi...?
    Yikes... my [fan art], is too scary...?
    • niji-sousaku - "derivative works," fan fiction, fan art, fanzines (doujinshi 同人誌).
    • kowai
      Something you're afraid of. Something you fear.
    • According to the illustrator: she uses atashi アタシ as first person pronoun, but watashi 私 was used for the text to fit. The "scary fan art" refers to works like Cupcakes (on, which starts with a graphic violence and gore (guro グロ) warning, that you should really heed because holy shit what the actual fuck is this, and probably could use a flashing lights warning for viewers with epilepsy disorders, too, and whose top comment is "I watched this when I was younger and I hated pinkie pie after this and when I got a toy of her from McDonald's I thought it'd kill me so I locked it in my drawer."
  • {muryou go-fun de, tekisei niji-sousaku ya ponii kiso nouryoku ga wakaru} "ponii kachi shindan tesuto".
    The "pony value diagnosis test" [with which] {in five minutes for free, [you] will know [your] suitable fan art and base pony abilities}.
  • {uketa} ponii wa yon-man-tou wo toppa!
    The [number of] ponies [that] {received [it]} [has] passed 40 thousand!
    • ~tou - counter for large animals, like cows, horses, ponies. It's written with the kanji for "head," atama 頭, so it's like counting "heads" of cattle.
  • Because you know the results immediately, it's very popular.
    (unchanged line.)
  • anata no tekisei niji-sousaku wa?
    Your suitable derivative works [are]?
  • Character: Akaza Akari 赤座あかり from Yuru Yuri ゆるゆり. It's a joke in the series that she's supposed to be the main character but doesn't get a lot of screen time and ends up forgotten in the background a lot.
  • Corner: yuruyuri is the title of her series.
  • uwa'... Akari no deban, sukuna-sugi....?
    Yikes... Akari's [screen time], is too [short]....?
    • deban - leaving the backstage to enter the screen, or getting the opportunity to participate an activity, like joining in a fight. Although this translates to "screen time," here it actually refers to the frequency one appears on the screen, not the length of time they are screen, which is why the adjective is sukunai, "few," not mijikai 短い, "short."
    • The number of times she entered the screen is too few.
    • Akari uses her own name as first person pronoun.
  • {muryou go-fun de, toumei-dosuu ya shujinkou kiso nouryoku ga wakaru} "sonzaikan shindan tesuto".
    The "presence diagnosis test" [with which] {in five minutes for free, [you] will know [your] invisibility index and base protagonist ability}.
    • dosuu - numerical or quantified degree, value, index.
    • sonzaikan - feeling of existence, whether you can feel something exists, that it is there, or not. Something with a strong sonzaikan has a lot of presence, while little sonzaikan means you don't even notice they're there.
  • The number of people that received the test has passed 400 thousand!
    Because you know the results immediately, it's very popular.
    Your suitable yearly income is?
    (unchanged lines.)
  • Character: Ika-musume イカ娘, literally "squid girl," from Shinryaku! Ika-musume 侵略!イカ娘, "Invasion! Squid-girl," who comes from the ocean to invade the land where humans live.
    • As part of her character, her blue hair is actually squid tentacles, and she often says geso at the end of sentences (gobi 語尾), presumably because geso 下足 refers to "squid tentacles."
  • geso'... watashi no shinryaku-do, hiku-sugi...?
    Geso, my degree of invasion, is too low...?
  • {muryou go-fun de tekisei shinryaku-do ya ika-nouryoku ga wakaru} "ika-musume tesuto".
    The "squid girl test" [with which] {in five minutes for free, [you] will know [your] suitable degree of invasion and squid ability}.
  • The number of people that received the test has passed 400 thousand!
    Because you know the results immediately, it's very popular.
    (unchanged lines.)
  • anata no tai-Chidzuru sentou nouryoku wa?
    Your anti-Chizuru combat ability [is]?
  • Character: Kyuubey, キュゥべえ, from Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica, 魔法少女まどか★マギカ, who offers girls contracts that they can accept to have their wishes granted, and, in exchange, they become magical girls.
  • Corner: majika (マジカ) is a play on magika マギカ from the title.
  • uwa'... boku to keiyaku shinai toka...!
    Yikes... [you] won't make a contract with me [and stuff like that]...!
    • keiyaku - contract, keiyaku suru - to do a contract, to enter a contract, to make a contract.
    • toka - means you won't do a contract, and you have done other things that disappointed him as well.
    • Kyuubei uses boku as first person pronoun.
  • {{mahou shoujo no kosupre wo shite} {gomi wo katadzukeru} dake no} "kantan na oshigoto".
    The "simple job" [in which] {[you] just {cosplay as a magical girl and} {clean up trash}};
  • The number of people that received the test has passed 400 thousand!
    (unchanged line.)
  • {{anime no} you da} to dai-ninki da.
    [Because] {[it] is like {[it] is an anime}}, [it] is very popular.
    • It's like you're in an anime!
  • anata no negai-goto wa?
    Your wish [is]?
    • negau
      To wish. To request. To ask for something.
    • koto

    • negai-goto - the thing you wish, what you wish, what you ask for.

Covering Mouth Pose

On Japanese anime Twitter, the phrase is sometimes used on random screencaps featuring characters covering their mouths.

Here's some others, for reference:

Kitagawa Marin 喜多川海夢 covering her mouth with her hands.
Character: Kitagawa Marin 喜多川海夢
Anime: Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru, その着せ替え人形ビスク・ドールは恋をする (Episode 1)
Becky Blackbell, ベッキ・ブラックベル, covering her mouth with her hands.
Character: Becky Blackbell, ベッキ・ブラックベル
Anime: SPY×FAMILY (Episode 6)


Poses & Gestures

1 comment:

Leave your komento コメント in this posuto ポスト of this burogu ブログ with your questions about Japanese, doubts or whatever!

All comments are moderated and won't show up until approved. Spam, links to illegal websites, and inappropriate content won't be published.

  1. Thank you for these posts on various Japanese stuff. Always excited when they show up in my RSS feed!