Practice text with full furigana

いかめしい後鉢巻うしろはちまきをして、ばかま穿いたおとこ十人じゅうにんばかりずつ、舞台ぶたいうえ三列さんれつならんで、その三十人さんじゅうにんがことごとくげているには魂消たまげ前列ぜんれつ後列こうれつあいだはわずか一尺五寸いっしゃくごすんぐらいだろう、左右さゆう間隔かんかくはそれよりみじかともながはない。たった一人ひとり列をはなれて舞台のはしってるのがあるばかりだ。この仲間外なかまはずれの男ははかまだけはつけているが、後鉢巻は倹約けんやくして、抜身のかわりにむね太鼓たいこけている。太鼓は太神楽だいかぐらの太鼓とおなものだ。この男がやがて、いやあ、はああと呑気のんきこえしてみょううたをうたいながら、太鼓をぼこぼん、ぼこぼんとたたうた調子ちょうし前代未聞ぜんだいみもん不思議ふしぎものだ。三河万歳みかわまんざい普陀洛ふだらく合併がっぺいしたものとおもえばたいした間違まちがにはならない。

歌はすこぶる悠長ゆうちょうもので、夏分なつわけ水飴みずあめのように、だらしがないが、句切くぎをとるためにぼこぼんをれるから、のべつのようでも拍子ひょうしれる。この拍子におうじて三十人の抜き身がぴかぴかとひかのだが、これはまたすこぶる迅速じんそく手際てぎわで、拝見はいけんしていても冷々ひやひやするとなうしも一尺五寸以内いないきた人間にんげん、その人間がまたれる抜き身を自分じぶんと同じようにわすのだから、よほど調子がそろわなければ同志どうしうちはじめて怪我けがをすることになる。それもうごかないでかたなだけ前後ぜんごとか上下じょうげとかに振るのなら、まだ危険あぶなくもないが、三十人が一度いちど足踏あしぶをしてよこときがある。ぐるりとまわ事がある。ひざげる事がある。隣りのものが一秒いちびょうでも早過はやすぎるか、遅過おそすぎれば、自分のはなちるかもれない。隣りのあたまそがれるかも知れない。抜き身の動くのは自由じゆ自在じざいだが、その動く範囲はんいは一尺五寸かくはしらのうちにかぎられた上に、前後左右のものと同方向どうほうこう同速度どうそくどにひらめかなければならない。こいつはおどろいたなかなかもって汐酌しおくみせきおよぶところでないいてみると、これははなはだ熟練じゅくれんもので容易ようい事では、こういうふうに調子がわないそうだ。ことにむずかしいのは、かの万歳節ばんざいぶしのぼこぼん先生せんせいだそうだ。三十人のあしはこも、うごも、こしかたも、ことごとくこのぼこぼんくんの拍子ひとまるのだそうだ。はたいると、この大将たいしょう一番いちばん呑気そうに、いやあ、はああと気楽きらくうたってるが、そのじつははなはだ責任せきにんおもくって非常ひじょうほねれるとは不思議なものだ。

Rough translation

On the stage were three rows of ten men each, dressed in warrior-style hakama and with imposing headbands knotted in the back. I was astonished to see that every one of the thirty was holding a drawn sword. The spacing between the rows was about half a meter, and the clearance left and right was no greater. A solitary man stood apart from the formation at the edge of the stage. This lone figure wore that same hakama but had dispensed with the headband. Instead of a sword, he carried a drum attached to his chest, similar to that of a street performer. This man began singing out 'iyaa, haaa' in a leisurely voice, punctuating his curious song with drum beats. It was a wondrous song with a unique rhythm that I couldn't place. It might be described as a fusion of the Mikawa Manzai with the voices at a Buddhist initiation rite.

The song was slow and deliberate, flowing formlessly like syrup in the summertime. Drum beats were inserted periodically, imposing a rhythm over the song's continuity. In response to this rhythm, the blades of the thirty flashed in rapid movements of great dexterity, sending chills through the onlookers. There was a live human within a half meter in any direction, and that human in turn was swinging his own deadly blade in a similar fashion. Only precise coordination of their movements prevented them from striking and maiming each other. It wouldn't have been so risky if they'd swung their sword in place, but the entire company stepped and turned in unison. They also spun in circles and bent their knees. If the next man over were a second quick or a second slow, one could lose one's nose. One might even slice off his neighbor's head. The blades moved freely, but within the confines of a squared pillar half a meters on a side. Each blade had to swing in the same direction and at the same speed as those around it. I was spellbound. The shiokumi or sekinoto dances were nothing compared to this. I was told that it took extensive training. It was no easy task to stay together. The most difficult role was that of the droning drum master. The footwork, hand movements, and hip motions of the entire troupe all followed the lead of his beats. From where I sat, this old fellow looked to have the easiest role, singing away in secure comfort. In truth, he bore a heavy responsibility and was exerting himself tremendously.

Vocabulary

いかめしい imposing; dignified後鉢巻うしろはちまき headband knotted in the backばかま hakama (men's formal pleated skirt) with tight lower leggings穿いた wear (pants)おとこ men十人じゅうにん ten (people)舞台ぶたい stageうえ top of三列さんれつ three rowsならんで lined up三十人さんじゅうにん thirty (people) naked blade; drawn swordげて carry (sword)魂消たまげた be astonished前列ぜんれつ front row後列こうれつ back row; next rowあいだ space (between); interval一尺五寸いっしゃくごすん 1 shaku and 5 sun (about half a meter; about half a yard)左右さゆう left and right間隔かんかく interval; spacingみじかい shortながく long一人ひとり one (person)はなれて be separated from; stand apart fromはし edgeって stand仲間外なかまはずれの apart from the group; set off from his peersはかま hakama (men's formal pleated skirt)倹約けんやくして spare; do withoutかわりに in place ofむね chest太鼓たいこ drumけて attach; hang; suspend太神楽だいかぐら street performanceおなじ sameもの thing呑気のんきな leisurely; relaxedこえ voiceして put forth (voice)みょうな strange; unusualうた song; chantたたく beat; strikeうた song調子ちょうし tone; rhythm前代未聞ぜんだいみもんの novel; unique不思議ふしぎな wondrous; strange三河万歳みかわまんざい Mikawa Manzai (song originating from Aichi Prefecture; typically accompanied by small drums)普陀洛ふだらくや (participants in a Buddhist initiation rite)合併がっぺいした merged; joinedおもえば think of (as); regard (as)たいした (not) much間違まちがい mistake; misconception 悠長ゆうちょうな slow; deliberate夏分なつわけ summertime水飴みずあめ starch syrup; glucoseだらしがない loose; without form句切くぎり punctuation; breakれる insertのべつ constant; unceasing拍子ひょうしれる can keep time; can maintain a rhythmおうじて respond to; react toひかる flash迅速じんそくな quick; rapid手際てぎわ skill; dexterity拝見はいけんして watch; look on冷々ひやひやする shudder; feel a cold chillとなり (one) next toうしろ (one) behind以内いないに withinきた real; live人間にんげん personて be (in a place)れる capable of cutting; sharp自分じぶん oneselfわす swing aroundそろわなければ if not aligned; if not in unison同志どうし comrade; peerうち strike; assaultはじめて start; begin怪我けが injuryこと act; matterうごかないで without movingかたな sword前後ぜんご fore and aft上下じょうげ up and down危険あぶなくもない not so dangerous一度いちどに at once足踏あしぶみ stepよこく turn sidewaysとき instance; occasionまわる turn; spinひざ knees; legsげる bend一秒いちびょう one second早過はやすぎる be too soon遅過おそすぎれば be too lateはな noseちる fall off; be lostかもれない it could be that ...あたま headそがれる be sliced off自由じゆ自在じざい freely; unfettered範囲はんい scope; limitsかくの squaredはしら pillar同方向どうほうこう same direction同速度どうそくど same speedおどろいた be amazed; be astoundedなかなかもって (not) by any means汐酌しおくみ shiokumi (dance)せき sekinoto (dance)およぶところでない can't measure up (to)いて ask; inquire熟練じゅくれんる skilled容易ようい easy; simpleふう mannerわない won't be aligned; won't be in sync万歳節ばんざいぶし banzai intonation先生せんせい leaderあしはこび footworkうごき hand movementsこし waist; hipsかた manner of bendingぼこぼんくん 'bokobon' guy; drummerひとつ single (thing)まる be determinedはたて seen from a distance; to an outsider大将たいしょう old fellow一番いちばん most気楽きらくに comfortably; at easeじつ truth; reality責任せきにん responsibilityおもくって heavy非常ひじょうに extremelyほねれる taxing; requiring great effort