Practice text with full furigana
"At first, as he tells it, they posed some question in Japanese. However, Tōfū is ever the scholar, as you're aware, and was itching to try out his German. He rattled off a few words, which were surprisingly well received. -- In hindsight, the seeds of his failure were sown then and there." "What happened?" The master was hooked. "The Germans had their eyes on a gold-dust lacquered seal case that had once belonged to Ōtaka Gengo. They asked if one might purchase it. Tōfū's answer was quite compelling. All Japanese, he told them, were men of virtue and integrity, so purchase was out of the question. Up to that point, he found himself in finest form. From there, though, the Germans, convinced they'd secured a capable interpreter, unleashed a torrent of questions." "What did they ask?" "That's just it. If he'd understood then he would've been fine, but the questions came too fast and too thick. He had no idea. When he did finally grasp one, they were asking about a fire hook and oversized wooden mallet. He'd never learned of Western counterparts for fire hook or oversized wooden mallet, and his answers got lost in translation." "Naturally." The master, reflecting on his own experience as a teacher, expressed due sympathy. "In the meantime curious folks, with nothing better to do, had gathered round. Tōfū and the Germans were boxed in from all sides by onlookers. Tōfū blushed and stammered. His initial enthusiasm had turned, in the same measure, to great distress." "What did he do?" "Unable, it seems, to stand any more, he uttered 'sainara' in Japanese and beat a hasty retreat. 'Sainara' is a bit odd, so I asked if it was something from his home region. It wasn't, he told me. They always said sayonara, but for Westerners he thought he should give it some flair. I'm impressed with that Tōfū. Tribulation aside, he still has a mind to exit in style." "I get the 'sainara,' but what of the Westerners?" "They just stood there, apparently, vacant and dumbfounded. Ha ha ha ha. Isn't that a riot?" "I wouldn't particularly have said so. What's a riot is you coming all the way over here with this story." With that, the master flicked the ash off his cigarette, letting it fall into the wooden brazier. Just then, the bell by the latticed door sounded loudly, startling both men. "Beg pardon!" came a shrill female voice. Meitei and the master instinctively exchanged glances. Neither spoke.
最初 at first日本語 Japanese (language)東風 Tōfū (name)何か something質問した asked; questioned先生 teacher; professor; scholar例の通り as always; as is well known独逸語 German (language)使って見たくて want to try using男 man; fellow二口三口 two or three words; several words存外 contrary to expectation; more than expected出来た was able to do; managed考える consider; think about災 calamity; misfortune本 origin; source; beginnings主人 master釣り込まれる be hooked; be drawn in独逸人 Germans大鷹源吾 Ōtaka Gengo (one of the 47 Rōnin, or loyal retainers)蒔絵 gold or silver lacquer; lacquer decoration sprinkled with metal powder印籠 seal case買いたい would like to purchase売って sell聞く ask; inquire時 time; occasion返事 reply; response面白い interesting; amusing日本人 Japanese (people)清廉 honesty; integrity; purity and unselfishness君子 men of virtue; gentlemen到底 utterly; absolutely駄目 impossible; out of the question云った saidその辺 around there; thereabouts大分 very much; a great deal景気がよかった was in fine form; was going well方 side恰好な suitable; proper; fit通弁 interpreter (in the Edo period)得た acquired; attained何だか what (it was)分る understand心配 worry; concern早口 rapid speech無暗に excessively; incessantly問い掛ける ask; pose (questions)少しも (not) in the least要領を得ない not grasp; not comprehend思う think; believe鳶口 fire hook; firefighter's hook (oak pole with metal hook on its end)掛矢 large wooden mallet西洋 West; Occident翻訳して translate善い good; adequate; sufficient習った learned事が無い had never ...弱わらあ be in a bind; be at a loss教師 teacher; instructor身の上 station in life; personal circumstances引き較べて compare to; reference against同情 sympathy; compassion表する express閑人 folks at leisure; people with time on their hands物珍しそうに out of curiousityぽつぽつ bit by bit集ってくる gather; assemble仕舞には finally; in the end四方 all sides取り巻いて surround; encircle見物する look on; watch顔を赤くして turn red-faced; blushへどもどする get flustered; be flurried初めの first; initial勢 energy; spirit; vigorに引き易えて in place of大弱り greatly troubled; highly vexed体 condition; state結局 ultimately; in the end我慢出来なくなった could bear it no moreぐんぐん swiftly; hastily帰って来た returned home変 odd; strange君の your国 home country; home region相手 other party西洋人 Westerner調和 harmony; agreement; accord計る measure; weigh; gauge東風子 master Tōfū苦しい difficult; distressing; awkward忘れない not forget; not neglect感心した was impressedあっけに取られて be taken aback; be dumbfounded茫然と blankly; vacantly別段 particularly; especially報知に to inform来る come; call巻煙草 cigarette灰 ash火桶 wooden brazier中 middle; midstはたき落す brush off (into)折柄 just then; at that moment格子戸 latticed doorベル bell飛び上る jump up; jump to one's feet鳴って ring; sound御免なさい excuse me; beg pardon鋭どい sharp; edgy; shrill女 woman声 voice迷亭 Meitei (name)思わず reflexively; instinctively顔を見合わせて look at one another沈黙する keep silent