I am a Cat (Chapter 4 a) Section 119 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

細君さいくん主人しゅじんしりけて――なに失礼しつれい細君だ?べつ失礼なことはないさ。れい非礼ひれい相互そうごう解釈かいしゃく次第しだいでどうでもなる事だ。主人は平気へいき細君の尻のところへ頬杖ほおづえ、細君は平気で主人のかおさき荘厳そうごんなる尻をえたまでの事で無礼ぶれい糸瓜へちまもないのである。御両人ごりょうにん結婚けっこん一ヵ年いっかねんたぬ礼儀作法れいぎさほうなどと窮屈きゅうくつ境遇きょうぐう脱却だっきゃくせられた超然的ちょうぜんてき夫婦ふうふである。――さてかくのごとく主人に尻を向けた細君はどう了見りょうけんか、今日きょう天気てんきじょうじてしゃくあまみどり黒髪くろかみを、麩海苔ふのり生卵なまたまごゴシゴシ洗濯せんたくせられたものえてくせのないやつを、よがしにかたからりかけて無言むごんのまま小供こどもそでなし熱心ねっしんっている。じつその洗髪あらいがみかわかすために唐縮緬とうちりめん布団ふとん針箱はりばこ椽側えんがわしてうやうやしく主人に尻を向けたのである。あるいは主人のほうで尻のある見当けんとうへ顔をってかもれない。そこで先刻せんこく御話おはなしをした煙草たばこけむが、ゆたかになび黒髪くろかみあいだながながれてときならぬ陽炎かげろうえるところを主人は余念よねんもなくながめている。しかしながら煙はもとより一所いっしょとどまるものではない、その性質せいしつとしてうえへ上へとのぼのだから主人のもこの煙りの髪毛かみげもつ奇観きかんちなく見ようとすれば、是非共ぜひとも眼をうごかさなければならない。主人はまずこしへんから観察かんさつはじめて徐々じょじょ背中せなかつたって、肩から頸筋くびすじかかったが、それをとおぎてようよう脳天のうてんたっしたときおぼえずあっとおどろいた。――主人が偕老同穴かいろうどうけつちぎった夫人ふじんの脳天の真中まんなかには真丸まんまるおおきな禿はげがある。しかもその禿があたたかい日光にっこう反射はんしゃしていまとき顔にかがやいている。おもわざる辺にこの不思議ふしぎ大発見だいはっけんをなした時の主人の眼はまばゆいなか充分じゅうぶん驚きをしめしてはげしい光線こうせん瞳孔どうこうひらのもかまわず一心不乱いっしんふらん見つめている。主人がこの禿を見た時、第一だいいちかれ脳裏のうりうかんだのはかのいえ伝来でんらい仏壇ぶつだん幾世いくよとなくかざけられたる御灯明皿おとうみょうざらである。彼の一家いっけ真宗しんしゅうで、真宗では仏壇に身分みぶん不相応ふそうおうかねけるのが古例これいである。主人は幼少ようしょうの時その家のくらの中に、薄暗うすぐら飾り付けられたる金箔きんぱくあつ厨子ずしがあって、その厨子の中にはいつでも真鍮しんちゅうの灯明皿がぶらさがって、その灯明皿にはひるでもぼんやりしたがついていた事を記憶きおくしている。周囲しゅういくら中にこの灯明皿が比較的ひかくてき明瞭めいりょうかがやいていたので小供心こどもごころこの灯を何遍なんべんとなく見た時の印象いんしょうが細君の禿におこされて突然とつぜんしたものであろう。灯明皿は一分いっぷん立たぬ間にえたこのたび観音様かんのんさまはとの事をおも。観音様の鳩と細君の禿とは何等なんら関係かんけいもないようであるが、主人のあたまではふたの間に密接みっせつ聯想れんそうがある。おなじく小供の時分じぶん浅草あさくさかなら鳩にまめってやった。豆は一皿ひとさら文久ぶんきゅう二つで、あか土器かわらけ這入はいっていた。その土器が、いろと云いおおきと云いこの禿によくている

Rough translation

The wife's rear is facing the master -- What's this? Disrespect? There's no particular disrespect here. Etiquette, or lack thereof, is the subjective call of the parties involved. The master thinks nothing of lying there, chin propped in his hands, facing his wife's rear. The wife, for her part, thinks nothing of planting her rear end, in all its grandeur, directly in front of the master's face. There's no impropriety whatsoever. The two of them, within a year of their marriage, had thrown aside convention and discarded the constraints of matrimonial protocol. -- So what is the wife, with her rear end toward the master, up to? Taking advantage of the day's fine weather, she's scrubbed her long straight hair with funori and raw egg, draped it over her shoulders and down her backside, and is quietly at work with her needle, sewing a child's vest-shirt. In fact, she's brought her mousseline cushion and sewing box out onto the veranda to dry her hair, orienting her rear end toward the master in all due respect. Or it may be that the master came out after and set his face in proximity to her rear end. To continue from earlier, an abundance of black hair flutters loosely, and tobacco smoke weaves through its midst. The master gazes intently as the chance interaction sends shimmers through a heated haze. Smoke, however, does not linger in place but naturally rises upward. The master's eyes, fixated on the spactacle of smoke mingling with hair, are forced to follow suit. Starting at the wife's haunches, he slowly follows it up her back, over her shoulders, and along the nape of her neck. When it finally clears her neck and arrives at the crown of her head, an astonished gasp escapes his lips. -- There on the crown of her head, the head of his sworn partner for life, dead in the center, is a large round bald spot. Furthermore, the time of day is just such that the sun's warm rays bounce off the bald surface and hit him full on. Caught in the glare and taken aback by this unexpected discovery, the master stares blankly, oblivious to the blinding rays that stream through his open pupils. The first thought to enter his mind is of a candle tray, the one that adorned his family's Buddhist altar, an altar that had been passed down over generations. His family belonged to the Pure Land school, whose adherents had long been known to lay out extravagant sums for their household altars. Among his childhood memories is an image of their double-doored shrine, overlayed in thick gold leaf, rising in the dim light of the valuables room. Suspended within was the candle tray, with its faintly burning flame visible even in daylight, contrasting clearly with its dark surroundings. The wife's bald spot immediately evoked the memory of this tray, seen so often as a child and indelibly impressed on his subconscious mind. Within a minute, though, the tray had faded away, replaced by recollections of Kannon's pigeons. Kannon's pigeons and the wife's bald spot would seem to bear nothing in common, but the master drew an intimate connection. Again going back to his youth, he would always buy peas for the pigeons on visits to Asakusa. It was two copper coins for a dish of peas, and the dish was of red earthenware. That earthenware, both in color and size, resembled the wife's bald spot.

Vocabulary

細君さいくん wife主人しゅじん masterしり rear endけて turn toward失礼しつれいな discourteous; impolite; rudeべつに in particular; especiallyこと act; actionれい etiquette; manners非礼ひれい breach of etiquette; lack of manners相互そうごうの mutual解釈かいしゃく understanding; interpretation次第しだい in accordance with平気へいきで without concern; thinking nothing of it頬杖ほおづえき propping one's chin in one's handsかおさき front of one's face荘厳そうごんなる grand; impressive; sublimeえた set in place; situated無礼ぶれい糸瓜へちまもない no impropriety or anything of the sort (lit: neither impropriety nor sponge gourd)御両人ごりょうにん both parties; the two of them結婚けっこん marriage after一ヵ年いっかねん one yearたぬに before ... passed礼儀作法れいぎさほう etiquette; courtesy窮屈きゅうくつな formal; stiff; constraining境遇きょうぐう situation; environment脱却だっきゃくせられた shed; discarded; abandoned超然的ちょうぜんてき transcendent; defying convention夫婦ふうふ husband and wife; man and wife; married coupleどうう what sort of了見りょうけん idea; thought; intention今日きょう today; this day天気てんき weatherじょうじて taking advantage ofしゃく shaku (about 30 cm; about 1 foot)あまる be in excess of; be more thanみどり黒髪くろかみ glossy black hair; raven black hair麩海苔ふのり funori; marine alga生卵なまたまご raw eggゴシゴシ洗濯せんたくせられた scrubbed clean; washed thoroughlyもの situation; stateえて appearくせのない smooth; straight (hair)やつ material; matter; stuffよがしに showily; ostentatiously (= これよがしに)かた shoulders backりかけて let fall over; drape over無言むごんのまま in silence; without speaking小供こども child (usually 子供こども)そでなし sleeveless (garment)熱心ねっしんに earnestly; attentivelyって sew; tailorじつは actually; in fact洗髪あらいがみ freshly washed hairかわかす dry唐縮緬とうちりめん mousseline; light woolen fabric布団ふとん cushion針箱はりばこ sewing box椽側えんがわ verandaして take outうやうやしく respectfully; with all due humilityほう alternative (of two choices)見当けんとう area; vicinityってた broughtかもれない it may be that ...先刻せんこく already; a while ago御話おはなしをした talked of; related煙草たばこ cigaretteけむり smokeゆたかに in abundanceなびく flutter; wave; sway黒髪くろかみ black hairあいだ midstながながれて weave and flowときならぬ unexpected; brought about by chance陽炎かげろう shimmer of heated airえる burn余念よねんもなく attentively; intentlyながめて gaze at; watchしかしながら however; that being saidもとより of course一所いっしょ one place; the same placeとどまる remain; stay; linger性質せいしつ nature; dispositionうえ up; upwardのぼる rise up eyes髪毛かみげ hairもつう tangle; mix (with)奇観きかん wonderful sightちなく without missing是非共ぜひとも by all meansうごかさなければならない have to shift; be compelled to moveこし hips; haunchesへん area; region観察かんさつ observationはじめて start; begin徐々じょじょと gradually; steadily; little by little背中せなか backつたって follow; traverse頸筋くびすじ nape of the neck; back of the neckかかった brought to; rested onとおぎて pass by; move past脳天のうてん top of the head; crown of the headたっした arrived at; reachedとき time; momentおぼえず unconsciously; in spite of oneselfおどろいた was astonished; was caught by surprise偕老同穴かいろうどうけつ growing old together; lifelong partnershipちぎった pledged; vowed夫人ふじん wife; missus真中まんなか center真丸まんまるな perfectly round; circularおおきな large; sizable禿はげ bald spotあたたかい warm; mellow日光にっこう sunlight; suns rays反射はんしゃして reflectいまや now; at presentとき being the right time; at the opportune timeかがやいて shine; sparkle; radiateおもわざる unexpected; unanticipated不思議ふしぎな strange; curious; wondrous大発見だいはっけん profound discovery; momentous findingまばゆい dazzling; glaringなか middle; midst充分じゅうぶんの sufficient; adequate; proportionalしめして express; displayはげしい strong; intense光線こうせん rays of light瞳孔どうこう pupilsひらく be open; stand wideかまわず take no consideration of; pay no heed to一心不乱いっしんふらんに intently; single-mindedly; to the exclusion of all else第一だいいち first of all; first offかれ he; him脳裏のうり one's mindうかんだ surfaced; came to mindいえ house伝来でんらいの ancestral; handed down仏壇ぶつだん (household) Buddhist altar幾世いくよとなく through the generationsかざけられたる set on display; used as an adornment御灯明皿おとうみょうざら candle holder for light offered to Buddha一家いっけ family; household真宗しんしゅう Shin Buddhism (Pure Land school)身分みぶん one's social position; one's social status不相応ふそうおうな unsuited to; disproportional withかね moneyける spend (money)古例これい tradition; custom幼少ようしょう infancy; childhoodくら storeroom; valuables room薄暗うすぐらく in dim light金箔きんぱく gold foil; gold leafあつき thick with厨子ずし small shrine with double doors真鍮しんちゅう brassぶらさがって hang down; be suspendedひる daytime light; lamp記憶きおくして remember; recall周囲しゅうい surroundingsくらい dark; dim比較的ひかくてき comparatively; relatively明瞭めいりょうに clearly; distinctlyかがやいていた shone; sparkled; radiated小供心こどもごころに as a child; through the eyes of a child何遍なんべんとなく any number of times; numerous times印象いんしょう impressionおこされて be called back; be evoked (in one's mind)突然とつぜん at once; all of a suddenした jumped out; appeared (suddenly)一分いっぷん one minuteえた disappeared; faded awayこのたび now; next; this time観音様かんのんさま Kannon (Buddhist deity of compassion)はと pigeons; dovesおもす recall; remember何等なんらの (no) form of関係かんけい connection; relationあたま head; mindふたつ two (things)密接みっせつな close; tight; intimate聯想れんそう association (of ideas)おなじく similarly; in the same manner時分じぶん time; period浅草あさくさ Asakusa (place name)く go (to); visitかならず invariably; without failまめ beans, peasってやった bought for一皿ひとさら one dish文久ぶんきゅう bunkyū (pre-Meiji copper or bronze coin)あかい red土器かわらけ earthenware這入はいっていた were placed inいろ colorおおきさ sizeている be similar to; look like; resemble