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暴風警報発令中のため本日 bōfū keihō hatsurei chū notame honjitsu

の営業はお休みとさせて no eigyō wa oyasumi to sasete

いただきます。 itadakimasu.

暴風 bōfū = storm winds
警報 keihō = warning
発令 hatsurei = official announcement
中 chū = in the middle
警報発令中 keihōhatsureichū = alert
〜のため notame = due to
本日 honjitsu = today
の no = possessive article
営業 eigyō = business
は wa = subject marker
お休み oyasumi = taking a day off
(と)させて (to)sasete = "causative form?"*
いただきます itadakimasu = polite "will do"

This sign was on the door of a closed store during the recent typhoon in Nagoya. I am just wondering about the ending: お休みとさせていただきます。

させて is the causative form of する, is it not? But in this case, would one be able to translate it as: "we allow ourselves to be closed today" or "we take the liberty of being closed today", as in they are the ones who are letting themselves take the day off and not anyone else?

Or, are they saying "be kind enough as to let us take the day off"?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

させ not only means 'make/force' but also means 'let/allow'.

In Japanese culture, the relation between a shop/seller and the customer is not equal. The customer is in much higher status than the seller, as is represented in the generally recognized phrase お客様は神様だ 'a customer is god'. A shop attendant will almost always use the honorific and polite form to the customer, whereas the customer may or may not. It is a common scene in Japan that during the entrance of a customer to a shop, an employee will bow and say some greeting word, but the customer may just ignore and not say a word. Even an owner closing their own shops without much notice in advance, or running out of stock, is considered to be an act of causing trouble to the potential customer, and is a reason for appology.

...のため、お休みとさせていただきます is a common phrase used by shop owners meaning 'due to ..., we will be allowed by you to be closed'.

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