Botchan (Chapter 4) Section 034 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana


Rough translation

These were lowlifes, one and all. If a fellow can’t own up to what he’s done, then he shouldn’t have done it in the first place. Unless I produced absolute proof, these guys were dug in to shamelessly feigning ignorance. I may have made some mischief in my own time, but never once did I hesitate to come clean when questioned. I was always forthcoming about what I had and hadn't done. Who makes mischief then lies to evade due punishment? Mischief and punishment are mutually entwined. Punishment cleanses the mischievous soul. Do they imagine a world where sordid minds rule the day? Where mischief runs unchecked? These are the types, no doubt, who borrow money after graduation and then repay their debts with “sorry.” What are they doing in middle school? They show up here, tell lies, practice deception, lurk in the shadows, and orchestrate dastardly deeds. Then they graduate and proudly declare themselves “educated,” when in fact they’re nothing but ignorant louts.


けちな mean-spirited; small-minded奴等やつら folks自分じぶん oneselfこと act; factえない can't say; won't admit証拠しょうこ proofがらなければ doesn't surface (provisional form)しらをる feign ignorance図太ずぶとく impudent; shamelessかまえて assume a posture (of defense)中学ちゅうがく middle school (short for 中学校)た was (in a place)時分じぶん time; periodすこし a bit; someかれた was askedとき time; when ...尻込しりごみをする hesitate; shrink from卑怯ひきょうな cowardly一度いちど one timeきまってる is a given; is certain潔白けっぱくな innocent; of integrityうそいて telling liesばつ punishmentげる avoid; escape (from)はじめから from the start; in the first place心持こころもちよく with a good feeling; with a clear conscience出来できる can do免蒙めんこうむる be excused from; beg one's way out of下劣げれつな sordid; vulgar根性こんじょう nature; dispositionどこのくにに where; in what land流行はやる be (widely) acceptedおもってる think; considerかね moneyりる borrowかえす return; pay backめん sorry; excuse me連中れんちゅう people卒業そつぎょうして graduate仕事しごと work; task相違そういない no doubt that ...全体ぜんたい after all; (why) in the worldなに what学校がっこう school胡魔化ごまかして cheat; swindleかげで in the shadowsこせこせ fidgety; restless生意気なまいきな smart-aleck; brazenわるいたずら devious mischiefおおきなつら big-headed; with a swagger教育きょういく educationけた received癇違かんちがい mistaken ideaはなせない ignorant; lacking good sense雑兵ぞうひょう commoners; rank and file