I am a Cat (Chapter 5 a) Section 140 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

二十四時間にじゅうよじかん出来事できごとれなくいて、洩れなくにはすくなくも二十四時間かかるだろう、いくら写生文しゃせいぶん鼓吹こすいする吾輩わがはいでもこれは到底とうていねこくわだおよぶべからざる芸当げいとう自白じはくせざるをないしたがっていかに吾輩の主人しゅじんが、ろくちゅう精細せいさいなる描写びょうしゃあたいする奇言きげん奇行きこうろうするにもかかわらず逐一ちくいちこれを読者どくしゃ報知ほうちする能力のうりょく根気こんきのないのははなはだ遺憾いかんである。遺憾ではあるがやむをない休養きゅうようは猫といえども必要ひつようである。鈴木すずきくん迷亭めいてい君のかえったあとは木枯こがらはたとんで、しんしんとゆきのごとくしずになった。主人はれいのごとく書斎しょさいこも小供こども六畳ろくじょうまくらをならべて一間いっけんはんふすまへだててみなみむきへやには細君さいくんかぞどしみっになる、めんさんと添乳そえぢしてよこになる花曇はなぐもいそいだちておもてとお駒下駄こまげたおとさえようにちゃひび隣町となりちょう下宿げしゅく明笛みんてきのがえたりつづいたりしてねむ耳底じてい折々おりおりにぶ刺激しげきあたえる外面そと大方おおかたおぼろであろう。晩餐ばんさんはんぺん煮汁だし鮑貝あわびがいをからにしたはらではどうしても休養が必要である。

ほのかにうけたまわれば世間せけんにはねここいとかしょうする俳諧はいかい趣味しゅみ現象げんしょうがあって、はるさき町内ちょうない同族どうぞくともゆめやすからぬまでかれるく夜もあるとかが、吾輩はまだかかる心的しんてき変化へんか遭逢そうほうしたことはないそもそも恋は宇宙的うちゅうてき活力かつりょくである。かみ在天ざいてんかみジュピターよりしも土中どちゅう蚯蚓みみずおけらいたるまでこのみちにかけて浮身うきみやつのが万物ばんぶつならであるから、吾輩どもが朧うれしと、物騒ぶっそう風流気ふうりゅうきのも無理むりのないはなである。回顧かいこすればかく云う吾輩も三毛子みけこおもがれた事もある。三角さんかく主義しゅぎ張本ちょうほん金田かねだ君の令嬢れいじょう阿倍川あべかわ富子とみこさえ寒月かんげつ君に恋慕れんぼしたと云ううわさである。それだから千金せんきん春宵しゅんしょうこころそら満天下まんてんか雌猫めねこ雄猫おねこくるまわのを煩悩ぼんのうまよいのと軽蔑けいべつするねん毛頭もうとうないのであるが、いかんせんさそわれてもそんな心が出ないから仕方しかたがない。吾輩目下もっか状態じょうたいはただ休養をよくするのみである。こう眠くては恋も出来でき。のそのそと小供の布団ふとんすそまわって心地ここちねむ。……

Rough translation

5

To write out all that happens in a day, without omission, and then to check it over, in itself requires a day. Much as I espouse the merits of descriptive writing, I have to confess that this is all too much for a cat. Accordingly, while the master's madcap words and eccentric behavior are nonstop and noteworthy, I must accept, with the greatest of regret, that I lack the faculty and perseverence to communicate everything in full detail to the reader. Regrettable though it is, it can't be helped. A cat, too, requires his rest.

As on a cold and blustery evening, when the wintry wind suddenly stops and a soft snow starts to fall, all fell still with Suzuki and Meitei's departure. The master, as usual, retreated to his study. The children settled down to sleep, pillows side-by-side, in the six-mat room. Separated by the fusuma, in the south-facing room, the wife nursed Menko, who was three by the old manner of reckoning. The sun had hurriedly set through the hazy spring sky and was long gone. The clogs of passersby resounded clearly, carrying into the living room, sounds so close one could touch them. The muted notes of a minteki, rising and falling from the boarding house down the way, tickled in one's ears from time to time. The outside world was largely shrouded in dusk. My belly, full from the evening meal, an abalone shell's worth of fishcake and broth, compelled me to take my rest.

I've heard it said there's a poetic movement afoot, where they write of "cat's romance" and such. I've also heard that on certian nights, in early spring, my fellow cats gallavant about, disturbing the peace. I've yet to feel any such stirrings myself. That being said, love's allure is universal. It's the way of all creatures, from the god Jupiter who sits on high to the earthworm and mole cricket who twitch in the ground, to surrender themselves. Is it unreasonable then, that we cats too would lose ourselves to romance and its rapture. I myself, as I think back on it now, was strongly drawn to Mikeko. They say even Tomiko, daughter of three-pronged-principle Kaneda and eater of Abekawa Mochi, is in love with Kangetsu. With that in mind, who am I to dismiss the ravings of the world's male and female cats, their heads in the clouds on these loveliest of spring evenings, as mere obsessions of the flesh? Much as I might like, though, I can't be moved to join in. In my present state, all I desire is rest. Fatigue trumps romance. Ploddingly, I make my way round to the skirt of the children's bedding, set myself down, and pleasantly drift off.

Vocabulary

 (chapter) 5 二十四時間にじゅうよじかん twenty four hours出来事できごと happenings; eventsれなく without omissionいて writeむ readすくなくも at least写生文しゃせいぶん (literary) sketch; descriptive writing鼓吹こすいする advocate; espouse吾輩わがはい I; me; myself到底とうてい by (no) meansねこ catくわだおよぶべからざる cannot possibly accomplish芸当げいとう feat; trick自白じはくせざるをない must confessしたがって consequently; accordingly主人しゅじん masterろくちゅう round the clock; at all times (based on former system where one day was 2 x 6 = 12 time units)精細せいさいなる detailed描写びょうしゃ description; portrayalあたいする be worthy of奇言きげん奇行きこう madcap words and eccentric behaviorろうする carry on at; indulge inにもかかわらず in spite of; although逐一ちくいち one by one; in detail読者どくしゃ readers報知ほうちする inform; report能力のうりょく ability; faculty根気こんき perseverance; persistence遺憾いかん regrettable; lamentableやむをない can't be helped休養きゅうよう rest; respite必要ひつよう necessary; needed鈴木すずき Suzuki (name)くん (suffix of familiarity for males)迷亭めいてい Meitei (name)かえった returned; left木枯こがらし cold wintry windはたと suddenlyんで stop blowingる fall; come down (precipitation)ゆき snow evening; nightしずか quiet; stillれいのごとく as usual; as per habit書斎しょさい study; den; reading roomこもる withdraw (to); seclude oneself (in)小供こども children (usually 子供こども)六畳ろくじょう six-mat room (about 10 sq m; about 100 sq ft)まくら pillowsる go to bed; sleep一間いっけんはん 1.5 ken (about 2.7 m; about 9 ft)ふすま fusuma (sliding screen)へだてて be separated byみなみむきの south-facingへや room; chamber細君さいくん the wifeかぞどし reckoned years (system of age counting where newborn is one - i.e. in its first year)みっつ three (years old)めん Menko (girl's name)添乳そえぢして breastfeed; nurseよこになる lie down; repose花曇はなぐもり hazy springtime weatherれ sunset; nightfallいそいだ hurried; rushed sunく already; some time agoちて drop; go downおもて out frontとおる pass by駒下駄こまげた low wooden clogs; komagetaおと soundる grasp in one's handちゃ living roomひびく resound; reverberate隣町となりちょう next neighborhood over下宿げしゅく boarding house; lodging house明笛みんてき minteki (Japanese transverse flute)く play a wind instrumentえたりつづいたりして repeatedly die down and start upねむい sleepy; drowsy耳底じてい depths of one's ears折々おりおり from time to time; on occasionにぶい dull; muted刺激しげき stimulusあたえる give to; impart to外面そと outside大方おおかた for the most partおぼろ hazy; dim; faint晩餐ばんさん dinnerはんぺん pounded fish cake煮汁だし dashi (soup stock made from fish and kelp)鮑貝あわびがい abalone shell (used as feeding dish)はら stomach; belly ほのかにうけたまわれば I hear it's said; rumor has it that世間せけん society; the worldねここい cat's romance (seasonal haiku phrase; used to evoke springtime)しょうする take the name of; call oneself​俳諧はいかい趣味しゅみ poetic movement (involving haiku, haibun, haiga, etc.)現象げんしょう phenomenon; happeningはるさき beginning of spring町内ちょうない neighborhood同族どうぞくとも those of like kindゆめやすからぬ cannot dream in peaceかれるく gallivant about; flit aroundう say; talk ofかかる such; like this心的しんてき変化へんか change in mentality; psychological shift遭逢そうほうした met with; experiencedことはない have never ...そもそも after all; at any rate宇宙的うちゅうてき universal活力かつりょく vitality; energyかみ above在天ざいてんの heavenlyかみ godジュピター Jupiter (Roman god of sky and thunder)しも below土中どちゅう (in the) earth; undergroundく call; cry蚯蚓みみず earthworm (note: crying earthworms is a poetic allusion to the coming of autumn)おけら mole cricketいたるまで all the way to ...みち way; path浮身うきみやつす devote oneself to; to give oneself over to万物ばんぶつ all things; all of creationならい habit; way of物騒ぶっそうな dangerous; unsettled風流気ふうりゅうき propensity for romanceす reveal; show; display無理むりのない not unreasonable; understandableはなし rumor; report回顧かいこすれば looking back; in retrospect三毛子みけこ Mikeko (name of the calico cat who used to live next door)おもがれた was enamored with; yearned for三角さんかく主義しゅぎ principle of the three-pronged approach張本ちょうほん originator; ringleader (= 張本人ちょうほんにん)金田かねだ Kaneda (name)令嬢れいじょう daughter阿倍川あべかわ Abekawa (referring to Abekawa Mochi - the Kaneda daughter's indulgence)富子とみこ Tomiko (name)寒月かんげつ Kangetsu (name)恋慕れんぼした fell in love withうわさ rumor; report; hearsay千金せんきん great value; untold value春宵しゅんしょう spring eveningこころそらに with head in the clouds; having abondoned one's senses満天下まんてんか the whole world; all the world雌猫めねこ雄猫おねこ female and male catsくるまわる rage; rave; run amok煩悩ぼんのう worldly desires; appetites of the fleshまよい infatuation; fixation; obsession軽蔑けいべつする look down on; dismiss; disdainねん thought; notion毛頭もうとうない have not in the leastいかんせん regrettably; unfortunatelyさそわれても even if invited; even if enticed仕方しかたがない can't be helped; what can one do目下もっか at present; now状態じょうたい situation; circumstanceよくする wish for; desire出来できぬ is out of the question布団ふとん futon; beddingすそ edge; skirtまわって move round (to)心地ここちく pleasantly; comfortablyねむる sleep; doze; drift off