Practice text with full furigana
After Tōfū's departure, the master went into his study and discovered a letter from Meitei that had been placed on his desk.
"Allow me to offer my happiest New Year's wishes ..."
An uncharacteristically sober opening, the master mused. Meitei's letters were seldom so sober. The other day he'd written, "No lady thereafter has captured my heart, and no sweet words arrive at my door. Rest assured, though, that my days continue. I bide my time quietly, neither engaged in exploit nor mired in mishap." Compared to that, this New Year's letter seemed most mundane.
"I mean to call, but unlike you, refrained in your ways, I'm out grabbing life by the horns. I've embraced this new year, the best of all years, in a dizzying whirl of activity. I humbly trust that you'll understand ..."
The master could certainly imagine how a fellow like Meitei, flitting about through the holiday making his rounds, must surely be busy.
"Yesterday, stealing a spare moment, I sought to treat Tōfū to tochimenbō. Most unfortunately, however, the ingredients for tochimenbō are in short supply, and my plan came to naught. A terrible shame. ..."
Recognizing the quintessential Meitei, the master floated a grin.
"Tomorrow we gather for cards with a certain baron, and the following day is the Aesthetics Society banquet. The day after that is Professor Toribe's welcome party, and the day after that ..."
"Enough already!" The master skipped ahead.
"As you can see, I've a gathering for Noh songs, a gathering for haiku, a gathering for tanka, a gathering for modern-form poetry - the list goes on, with no end in sight. Occupied as I am by this succession of gatherings, I humbly and necessarily ask that you accept, in the meantime and with no ill feeling, this congratulatory letter in lieu of my calling. ..."
"Don't go put yourself out, then." the master voiced his reply to the letter.
東風子 master Tōfū帰って return (home); leave主人 master書斎 study; den; reading room入って enter (into)机 desk上 top of見る look atいつの間に at some point; at some time迷亭 Meitei (name)先生 teacher; professor; scholar手紙 letter; correspondence来ている has arrived
新年の New Year's御慶 (New Year's) greetings目出度 happily; with joy; auspiciously申納候 (humbly) offer up (~候 = ~ます)
いつになく unusually; uncharacteristically出 start; beginning; opening真面目 serious; sober思う think; figure; considerこの間 the other day; recently其後 since then; thereafter別に in particular恋着せる cause to love; merit affection婦人 woman; lady無之 isn't ...いず方 wheresoever; whomsoever艶書 love letter参らず not come; not arrive先ず先ず passably; adequately無事に without incident; uneventfully; quietly消光 passing one's time罷り在り候 am ... (humble form; = おります)間 while ...乍憚 allow me to be so bold as to ...御休心 (your) peace of mind; reassurance可被下候 humbly ask for ...と云う saying ...; stating ...較べる compare年始状 New Year's letter例外にも all the more exceptionally世間的 ordinary; mundane
一寸 a little; a bit参堂 go to see; visit; call on仕り度候えども though one would wish to do (for someone else's benefit)大兄 you (respectful)消極 passive; refrained主義 priciple; approachに反して contrary to; in contrast to出来得る限り as much as possible積極的 positive; proactive方針 plan; course (of action)を以て through; by means of此 this千古 all ages; all times; eternity未曾有 unprecedented; unheard-of迎うる welcome; greet; receive (= 迎える)計画 plan; program; schedule故 reason; cause; circumstances毎日毎日 every day; day after day目の廻る spin one's head; set one reeling程 degree; extent多忙 terribly busy御推察 your understanding; your grasping (of the situation)願 request; supplication; petition上候 do humbly ...
男 man; fellowの事 about ...; concerning ...正月 New Year's遊び廻る make the rounds; go visiting忙がしい busyに違いない no doubt ...腹の中で inwardly; to oneself君 (suffix of familiarity for males)同意する agree with; understand (another's position)
昨日 yesterday一刻 a moment偸み steal; takeトチメンボー tochimenbō (reference to Andō Tochimenbō; haiku poet; 1869-1914)御馳走 feast; treat致さんと存じ候 would like to (= したいと思う)処 place of; point of生憎 unfortunately; regrettably材料 ingredients払底 shortage; scarcityの為め due to; because of其 that意 thought; intention; idea果さず without achieving; without realizing遺憾千万 most regrettable存候 think; feel; consider (= 存じます)
例の通り as usual; as always無言で without speaking; silently微笑する smile; grin
明日 tomorrow某 a certain男爵 baron歌留多 karuta (from portuguese 'carta'); traditional Japanese playing cards会 gathering; party明後日 day after tomorrow審美学 aesthetics協会 association; society宴会 dinner gathering; banquet鳥部 Toribe (name)教授 professor歓迎会 welcome party又 again
読みとばす skip over; skim past
右 right (referring to what's come before in right-to-left text)の如く like ...; as ...謡曲 Noh song俳句 haiku短歌 tanka (31-mora Japanese poem)新体詩 modern-form poetry等 and so forth; etc連発 succession of当分の間 for a while; for some time to comeのべつ幕無しに ceaselessly; non-stop出勤致し候 put in a presence; make one's appearance不得已 unavoidably; necessarily賀状 congratulatory letter拝趨 visit; call礼 formality易え候 exchange; substitute (for)段 act; action (= こと)不悪 without taking badly御宥恕 (your) forgiveness; generous understanding被下度候 would like to request (of you)
別段 in particularくるにも及ばん doesn't have to come返事をする answer back; give a reply