Practice text with full furigana

れいまつた、なんだい」と主人しゅじん断句だんくれる

首懸くびかけの松さ」と迷亭めいていえりちぢめる

「首懸の松はこうだいでしょう」寒月かんげつ波紋はもんをひろげる。

「鴻の台のは鐘懸かねかけの松で、土手どて三番町さんばんちょうのは首懸の松さ。なぜこういたかとと、むかからのつただれでもこの松のしたくびくくりたくなる土手どてうえに松は何十本なんじゅっぽんとなくあるが、そら首縊くびくくだとかならこの松へぶらがっている。ねん二三返にさんべんはきっとぶら下がっている。どうしてもほか松ではにならん。見ると、うまい具合ぐあいえだ往来おうらいほうよこいる。ああだ。あのままにしておくのはしいものだ。どうかしてあすこのところ人間にんげんげて見たい、誰かないかしらと、四辺あたり見渡みわた生憎あいにく誰も来ない。仕方しかたがない自分じぶん下がろうらん。いやいや自分が下がってはいのちがない、あぶないからよそう。しかしむかし希臘ギリシャじん宴会えんかいせきで首縊りの真似まねをして余興よきょうえたと云うはながある。一人ひとりだいの上へのぼってなわむすくびれる途端とたんに他のものが台を蹴返けかえ。首を入れた当人とうにんは台をかれる同時どうじ縄をゆるめてりるという趣向しゅこうである。はたしてそれが事実じじつなら別段べつだんおそるるにもおよばんぼくひとこころみようと枝へけて見ると好い具合にしわ。撓り按排あんばいじつ美的びてきである。首がかかってふわふわするところを想像そうぞうして見るとうれしくてたまらん。是非ぜひやることにしようとおもったが、もし東風とうふうが来てっているとどくだとかんがした。それではまず東風にって約束やくそくどお話しをして、それから出直でなおそうと云う気になってついにうちへかえったのさ」

Rough translation

"What do you mean 'the pine'?" the master interjected with a question.

"The hanging pine." Meitei drew in his neck as he spoke.

"Isn't the hanging pine on Kōnodai?" Kangetsu's voice joined the flow.

"The pine on Kōnodai is for hanging of bells. The pine on Dote Sanban-chō is for hanging of heads. The reason this pine is for hanging of heads, legend has it, is that from days of old, anyone passing beneath is seized with the urge to hang himself. There are numerous pines on the embankment, but when word comes of a hanging it's always this same pine. No other tree invites men's demise. You can see it extend an opportune branch toward the lane. Its form is ideal. It's all too forlorn. Somehow it cries for adornment, in the form of a hanging man. Wondering if someone might come to it, I looked around, regrettably to no avail. Having no other recourse, I thought I might hang there myself. But no, if I hang there that's it. The danger's too great. Then again, they say that the ancient Greeks, for the amusement of banquet guests, acted out a game of hangman. One would mount a pedestal and slip his head through the knot. The moment he did, another would kick the pedestal away. The one with the rope bout his neck would loosen it, quick as a flash, and drop to the ground. Such was the scheme. If this is in fact what they did, then the risk is overblown. I could give it a go. I placed my hands on the branch. It yielded in a manner most satisfying. It was a work of art in its compliance. I imagined hanging there, floating gently, and rapture swept over my mind. I decided I had to do it, but then my thoughts turned to Tōfū, who would arrive and wait in vain. Thinking it best to first engage him as promised, and then set out anew, I returned home."

Vocabulary

れいの that ...まつ pineなん what主人しゅじん master断句だんく interjectionれる throw in 首懸くびかけ hanging迷亭めいてい Meitei (name)えり collar; lapelちぢめる draw in; squeeze together こうだい Kōnodai (place name)寒月かんげつ Kangetsu (name)波紋はもん ripple 鐘懸かねかけ hanging of bells; hanging of chimes土手どて三番町さんばんちょう Dote Sanban-chō (place name)こうう this kind of nameいた be assigned; be affixedう tell; relate; explainむかし the past; former timesつたえ tradition; legendだれ who; whoeverした below; beneathる come (to)くびくくりたくなる feel the impulse to hang oneself土手どて embankmentうえ top of何十本なんじゅっぽん some tens of (trees)首縊くびくくり hangingる come to seeかならず invariably; without failぶらがって be hanging (from)ねん year; a year二三返にさんべん two or three timesほかの otherぬ die inclination; intention具合ぐあい state; conditionえだ branch往来おうらい street; roadほう directionよこ sidewaysて stick out; protrudeい superb; fineり style; formしい regrettable; unfortunateところ place; location人間にんげん person; human beingげて hang; suspendない not come; not arrive四辺あたり vicinity; surroundings見渡みわたす look across; survey生憎あいにく unfortunately; regrettably仕方しかたがない nothing for it; no other recourse自分じぶんで on one's ownらん perhaps ...いのち life; life forceあぶない perilous; precariousむかし the past; former times希臘ギリシャじん Greeks宴会えんかい banquetせき location (of a gathering)真似まね behavior; action; conduct余興よきょう sideshow; amusementえた added to; embellished withはなし talk一人ひとり one personだい stand; pedestal; platformのぼって climb up (onto)なわ rope; cordむす knotくび neck; headれる put into途端とたん instant; moment of蹴返けかえす kick back; kick away当人とうにん the person in questionかれる be pulled away同時どうじに at the same time asりる jump down趣向しゅこう plan; design; plotはたして in reality; as matter of fact事実じじつ truth別段べつだん in particularおそるる fear; be afraid of (=おそれる) にもおよばん not worthy of ...ぼく I; meひとつ one time; onceこころみよう try; attempt handsけて set; apply; attach (to)しわる bend; yield; comply按排あんばい condition; stateじつに truly; indeed美的びてき aesthetic想像そうぞうして imagine; envisionうれしくて happy; joyous; pleased是非ぜひ by all meansこと act; actionおもった thought (to)東風とうふう Tōfū (name)って waitどく unfortunate; regrettable; a pityかんがした began to thinkって meet (with)約束やくそくどおり as promised出直でなおそう set out anewかえった returned (to)