Everyday my inbox gets peppered with trivial announcements from the ‘General Affairs Department’ (総務部). Maybe one in 100 times it may be something useful, but invariably it is banal stuff like this:
- Factory floor will be polished from 10am-11am this sunday
- Server XYZ123 will be rebooted this saturday at 11pm
- Bob Smith’s Dad died
- Sally Jones had a baby
- Roger Brown got married
- A new PDF manual for product A1SH-NL is available.
These emails are always incredibly wordy, and are loaded with pompous old Japanese that I suspect few people can read without a dictionary. Actually the mails look more like Chinese than anything else due to the sheer number of kanji (Katakana is rarely used).
If I can be bothered to read it, the wording usually goes something like this:
This is [senders name] of the General Affairs Department of [company name]. I am humbly writing this mail to announce [email subject]. Please read this email if you are interested in [email subject]. If it is of no interest, please accept my sincere apologies and stop reading the message.
We are going to [email subject].
That is if you are lucky. Often it contains several large paragraphs of background and explanation all mixed together, plus several broken attachments to fill in (half of the attachments do not open on my machine because they have double byte Japanese characters in the filename, or the spam server has wiped them).
Anyway, it is quite alarming just how many peoples parents are dying, because I am getting at least 3 such emails every week. Of course, I filter out all these announcements to a new folder on my mail client. Then I simply scan the subject of the emails for 逝去 and I know I can just delete those ones.
Of course SHINU 死ぬ is the common way to say ‘to die’ or ‘to pass away’, but 逝去される seems to be the ultra-polite form that also has the nuance of ‘loss’.