I am a Cat (Chapter 4 a) Section 118 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

主人しゅじん椽側えんがわ白毛布しろげっといて腹這はらばいになってうららかな春日はるび甲羅こうらしている。太陽たいよう光線こうせん存外ぞんがい公平こうへいもので屋根やねペンペンぐさ目標もくひょうのある陋屋ろうおくでも、金田かねだくん客間きゃくまのごとく陽気ようきあたたかそうであるが、どくことには毛布けっとだけが春らしくない。製造元せいぞうもとではしろのつもりでして唐物屋とうぶつやでも白のさばいたのみならず、主人も白注文ちゅうもんってのであるが――なにしろ十二三じゅうにさんねん以前いぜんの事だから白の時代じだいはとくにとおしてただいま濃灰色のうかいしょくなる変色へんしょく時期じき遭遇そうぐうしつつある。この時期を経過けいかしてほか暗黒あんこくしょくけるまで毛布のいのちつづかどうだかは、疑問ぎもんである。いまでもすでに万遍まんべんなくれて竪横たてよこすじあきらかにまれるくらいだから、毛布としょうするのはもはや僭上せんじょう沙汰さたであって、はぶいてたんットとでももうのが適当てきとうである。しかし主人のかんがでは一年いちねん二年にねん持ち、五年ごねん持ち十年じゅうねん持った以上いじょう生涯しょうがい持たねばならぬとおもっているらしい。随分ずいぶん呑気のんき事である。さてその因縁いんねんのある毛布のうえぜんもうとお腹這になってなにをしているかと思うと両手りょうて出張でばったあごささえて右手みぎてゆびまた巻煙草まきたばこはさんでいる。ただそれだけである。もっともかれフケだらけのあたまうちには宇宙うちゅう大真理だいしんりくるまのごとく廻転かいてんしつつあるかもれないが、外部がいぶから拝見はいけんしたところでは、そんな事とはゆめにもおもえない

煙草たばこはだんだん吸口すいくちほうせまって一寸いっすんばかりつくしたはいぼうがぱたりと毛布の上につるのもかまわず主人は一生懸命いっしょうけんめい煙草からのぼけむり行末ゆくすえ見詰みつめている。そのけむ春風しゅんぷうきつしずみつながれる幾重いくえにもえがいて紫深むらさきふか細君さいくん洗髪あらいがみ根本ねもとせつつある。――おや、細君の事をはなしておくはずだった。わすれていた

Rough translation

The master has spread a white blanket out on the veranda, plopped himself down on his belly, and is basking in the bright spring sun. The sun's rays are remarkably evenhanded, imparting the same radiant warmth to this humble abode with weeds sprouting from its roof as they do the Kaneda's fine drawing room. The blanket, though, is woefully ill-matched to the day at hand. It was woven as white, shipped and sold as white, and the master even went and bought it for its fair white shade. -- However, that was twelve or thirteen years prior, and its time of whiteness is long past. It's now well into its discoloration phase, ashen-gray in hue. Whether there's enough life in it to go darker yet is an open question. It's thoroughly frayed and threadbare, and to call it a "blanket" anymore is downright presumptuous. The shorter word "blank" better describes it. In the master's mind, though, if it's lasted a year, or two, or five, or even ten, then it's good for a lifetime. He plays things day by day. And what is it he's doing, lying on his belly on his cherished blanket? His chin is propped in both hands, and a cigarette is wedged between the fingers of his right hand. That's it. Of course, there may be profound cosmic truths racing through his dandruff-covered head like chariots of fire, but I have to say I think it most unlikely.

His cigarette burns slowly toward his mouth. His attention is fixed on the smoke that rises from its tip. He follows the whisps with his gaze, oblivious to the growing column of ash that crumbles away and drops onto his blanket. The smoke floats and sinks on the spring breeze, drifting round in myriad layers and grazing the dark roots of the wife's freshly washed hair. -- Ah yes, did I neglect to mention the wife?

Vocabulary

主人しゅじん master椽側えんがわ veranda白毛布しろげっと white blanketいて spread out; lay out腹這はらばい lying on one's bellyうららかな bright; fine; glorious春日はるび spring sunlight甲羅こうらして bask in the sun太陽たいよう sun光線こうせん rays (of light)存外ぞんがい contrary to expectation; more than expected公平こうへいな impartial; unbiased; egalitarian屋根やね roofペンペンぐさ shepherd's purse (common weed with triangular flat fruits)目標もくひょう sign; mark陋屋ろうおく humble abode; lowly hovel金田かねだ Kaneda (name)くん (suffix of familiarity for males)客間きゃくま drawing room; parlor陽気ようきに cheerful; joyous; radiantあたたかそう warm in appearanceどくな unfortunate; regrettableこと situation; state of affairs毛布けっと blanket製造元せいぞうもと manufacturer; place of originしろ whiteして weave together; create via weaving唐物屋とうぶつや imported goods shop intentionさばいた put out for saleう saying; stating注文ちゅうもん order; request; specificationってた went and purchasedなにしろ anyway; at any rate十二三じゅうにさんねん twelve or thirteen years以前いぜん before; prior; in the past時代じだい time; period; ageとおして go past; go beyondただいま now; at present濃灰色のうかいしょく dull ashen color; dark gray変色へんしょく change of color; fading; discoloration時期じき time; period; phase遭遇そうぐうしつつある is encountering; is meeting with経過けいかして pass throughほかの other; alternate暗黒あんこくしょく dark colorける assume the guise of; transform oneself intoいのち life; lifetimeつづく continue; last疑問ぎもん question; doubtいま now; the present万遍まんべんなく thoroughly; throughout; uniformlyれて worn out竪横たてよこ warp and weft (with respect to woven cloth)すじ fibers; stringsあきらかに clearly; evidently; plainlyまれる can be seen; are showingしょうする call; refer to (as)僭上せんじょう audacity; presumption沙汰さた state; affair fur; wool (written) characterはぶいて omit; leave outたんに simply; merelyット tto (last half of ketto, which is short for buranketto, or blanket)もうす refer to (as)適当てきとう suitable; properかんがえ thoughts; notions一年いちねん one yearち last; keep二年にねん two years五年ごねん five years十年じゅうねん ten years以上いじょうは given that ...生涯しょうがい a lifetime; for lifeおもって think; believe; imagine随分ずいぶん very much; a great deal呑気のんきな carefree; easygoing; happy-go-lucky因縁いんねん connection; bond; shared historyうえ top ofぜん before; priorもうとおり as stated; as relatedなに what両手りょうて both hands出張でばった thrust forward; pushed forwardあご chinささえて support; prop up右手みぎて right handゆびまた deep between one's fingers巻煙草まきたばこ cigaretteはさんで hold betweenかれ he; himフケ dandruffあたま headうち inside; within宇宙うちゅう universe; cosmos大真理だいしんり great truthくるま chariot of fire廻転かいてんしつつある be revolving; be turning; be in motionかもれない it may be that ...外部がいぶ outside; exterior拝見はいけんした viewed; looked at; observedゆめにもおもえない cannot possibly imagine 煙草たばこ cigarette fire; flame吸口すいくち cigarette filterほう directionせまって approach; draw near to一寸いっすん 1 sun (about 3 cm; about 1 inch)つくした burned throughはい ashぼう rod; stick; columnつる fall; drop (onto)かまわず not minding; paying no heed to一生懸命いっしょうけんめいに with utmost intensity; with all one's beingのぼる rise up (from)けむり smoke行末ゆくすえ one's future; one's fate見詰みつめて stare at; gaze at; fix one's eyes onけむり smoke春風しゅんぷう spring breezeきつしずみつ floating up and sinking down; rising and fallingながれる float; drift; be carried circle; loop; wheel幾重いくえにも in myriad layersえがいて draw; form; describe紫深むらさきふかき deep violet (color)細君さいくん wife洗髪あらいがみ freshly washed hair根本ねもと roots; foundation; baseせつつある is drifting (toward)はなしておく talk of; mentionわすれていた forgot; neglected