I am a Cat (Chapter 7 b) Section 230 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

いかに馬鹿ばかでも病気びょうきでも主人しゅじんかわりりはない一飯いっぱん君恩くんおんおもんず詩人しじんもあることだからねこだって主人のうえおもわない事はあるまい。どくだと云うねんむね一杯いっぱいになったため、ついそちらにられてながほう観察かんさつおこたっていると、突然とつぜんしろ湯槽ゆぶね方面ほうめんむかって口々くちぐちののしこえきこえる。ここにも喧嘩けんかおこったのかとと、せま柘榴口ざくろぐち一寸いっすん余地よちもないくらいに化物ばけものりついてのあるすねと、毛のないまたみだれてうごいている。おりから初秋はつあきるるなんなんとして流しのうえ天井てんじょうまで一面いちめん湯気ゆげめる。かの化物のひしめさまがそのあいだから朦朧もうろうえるあつ熱いと云う声が吾輩わがはいみみつらぬいて左右さゆうけるようにあたまなかみだ。その声にはなのも、あおのも、あかのも、くろのもあるがたがかさなりかかって一種いっしゅ名状めいじょうすべからざる音響おんきょう浴場よくじょうないみなぎらす。ただ混雑こんざつ迷乱めいらんとを形容けいようするてきした声と云うのみで、ほかにはなんやくにもたない声である。吾輩は茫然ぼうぜんとしてこの光景こうけい魅入みいられたばかりちすくんでいた。やがてわーわーと云う声が混乱の極度きょくどたっして、これよりはもう一歩いっぽすすめぬと云うてんまでめられたとき、突然無茶苦茶むちゃくちゃかえしているむれの中から一大いちだい長漢ちょうかんがぬっとがったかれたけほか先生せんせいがたよりはたしかに三寸さんずんくらいはたか。のみならずかおからひげえているのか髯の中に顔が同居どうきょしているのかわからないあかつらかえして日盛ひざかがねをつくようなこえしてうめろうめろ、熱い熱い」とさけ。この声とこの顔ばかりは、かの紛々ふんぷんもつ群衆ぐんしゅうの上に高く傑出けっしゅつして、その瞬間しゅんかんには浴場全体ぜんたいがこのおとこ一人ひとりになったと思わるるほどである。超人ちょうじんだ。ニーチェのいわゆる超人だ。魔中まちゅう大王だいおうだ。化物の頭梁とうりょうだ。と思って見ていると湯槽のうしでおーいとこたえたものがある。おやとまたもそちらにひとみをそらすと、暗憺あんたんとして物色ぶっしょく出来でき中に、れいちゃんちゃん姿すがた三介さんすけくだけよと一塊ひとかたま石炭せきたんかまどの中にれるのが見えた。竈のふたをくぐって、このかたまぱちぱちとときに、三介の半面はんめんがぱっとあかるくなる同時どうじ三介の後ろにある煉瓦れんがかべやみとおしてえるごとくひかった。吾輩は少々しょうしょう物凄ものすごくなったから早々そうそうまどからりていえかえ。帰りながらもかんがえた羽織はおり猿股さるまたを脱ぎ、はかまを脱いで平等びょうどうになろうとつとめる赤裸々せきららの中には、また赤裸々の豪傑ごうけつ他の群小ぐんしょう圧倒あっとうしてしまう。平等はいくらはだかになったってられるものではない。

Rough translation

However idiodic of flawed he may be, my master is still my master. The poet reminds us to never forget our benefactors, and even a cat cannot, in good conscience, look on his master's plight with indifference. I was overcome with empathy, in fact, to the exclusion of all else. I'd completely abandoned my observations of the bathing area when suddenly, from the direction of the medicated bath, rose a loud chorus of cries. Thinking another quarrel must have erupted, I turn to look. Through the constricted opening of the steam gate, in a solid mass of interwoven limbs, spills brute upon brute. There are hairy shins, and hairless thighs, all jumbled as one. The time is late afternoon, and the autumn sun sets fire to a solid wall of steam ascending to the rafters. Through breaks in this rush of steam, the jostling brutes come and go from view. "It's scalding! It's scalding!" Their shrieks assail my mind, seeming to pierce one ear and exit out the other. All manner of voices, plied thick and in rapid succession, fill the bathhouse, building into a single cacophonic crescendo. Chaos and confusion are the only common threads. All else is lost in the din. I watch in blank amazement as the scene unfolds, frozen in place. Finally, when it seems the cries have reached their chaotic peak, a looming figure emerges from the jostling throng. In stature, he's a good half head larger than any fellow patron. His red face sports a beard, or perhaps it's best said that his beard hosts a reddened face. At any rate, he throws back his bright red face and his voice booms out like the mid-day cannon. "Water it down 'fore ya cook us alive!" This voice and face transcend the jumbled horde. In this moment, all else fades away, and the attention of the entire bathhouse coalesces onto this single soul. He's an Übermensch. Nietzsche's Übermensch in the flesh. Lord of the demons. Boss of the brutes. "On it!" comes a responding call from behind the bath, suddenly breaking the spell. Again I divert my gaze. There in the darkness, just discernable, is the attendant in his padded vest, hefting a large chunk of coal into the furnace. Just clearing the furnace lid, the coal rings out with a pop and a sizzle as it falls into the fire. The attendant's face, in profile, is lit by an orange glow. At the same time, the bricks of the wall behind him also flash with light. This is all a bit much, so without delay I descend from my perch at the window and make my way home. Thoughts occur as I walk. Even among this mass of naked humanity, where haori, hakama, and undershorts have been shed and set aside, equality doesn't reign. The greatest of men still rises up over his peers. Nakedness is by no means an equalizer.

Vocabulary

馬鹿ばか idiot; fool病気びょうき quirky; flawed主人しゅじん masterかわりりはない there's no denying that ...; all the same ...一飯いっぱん a bowl of rice; a meal君恩くんおん the favor of one's lordおもんず hold in high regard; attach due importance toう say; state詩人しじん poetこと situation; caseねこ catうえ one's station in life; one's lotおもわない not think of; have no regard forどく pitiableねん sense; idea; notionむね一杯いっぱい welled-up with emotionられて be distracted by; be preoccupied withながし washing areaほう side; area観察かんさつ observationおこたって neglect; be remiss in突然とつぜん at once; all of a suddenしろい white; milky湯槽ゆぶね (hot water) tub方面ほうめん directionむかって turning (toward)口々くちぐちに (voices) one and all; in unisonののしる curseこえ voicesきこえる be heard喧嘩けんか quarrel; squabbleおこった started up; broke out; occurredく turn one's head (to look)せまい narrow; confined柘榴口ざくろぐち low partition used to keep steam and heat in bathing area一寸いっすん 1 sun (about 3 cm; about 1 inch)余地よち place; space; margin化物ばけもの monsters; brutesりついて grapple; tussle (body) hairすね shins; shanks; lower legsまた thighsみだれて all in a jumbleうごいて be in motion; moveおりから just then; at that time初秋はつあき early autumn sun; sunlightるる come to an end; come to a close (= れる)なんなんとして full on; in fullうえ over; above天井てんじょう ceiling一面いちめんの a wall of湯気ゆげ steam; vaporめる be packed; be piled withひしめく clamor; crowd; jostleさま situation; sceneあいだ interval; midst朦朧もうろうと dimly; vaguely; indistinctlyえる be seen; be visibleあつい hot吾輩わがはい I; me; myselfみみ earsつらぬいて penetrate; pierce左右さゆう left and rightける exit; escapeあたまなか within one's headみだう fly about in disarray yellowあおい blueあかい redくろい blackたがに mutually; with respect to one anotherかさなりかかって be piled on each other; come in rapid succession一種いっしゅ a kind of; a form of名状めいじょうすべからざる defying description音響おんきょう noise; reverberation浴場よくじょうない within the bathhouse; within the bathsみなぎらす fill with; cause to brim with混雑こんざつ confusion; disorder迷乱めいらん bewilderment; chaos; disorientation形容けいようする describe; express; embodyてきした suitable; appropriateなんの (no) sort of; form ofやくにもたない serve no purpose茫然ぼうぜんとして flat-footed; in blank amazement; at a loss to react光景こうけい scene; sight魅入みいられた entranced; enthralled (by)ちすくんで be paralyzed; be stupefied極度きょくど maximum; extreme; utmostたっして reach; arrive at一歩いっぽ one step; one stage; one small amountすすめぬ can't proceed; can't progressてん point; place; junctureめられた brought to full tensionとき time; moment無茶苦茶むちゃくちゃに excessively; senselessly; recklesslyかえしている pushing and shovingむれ crowd; bunch; throng一大いちだい長漢ちょうかん one great figure; a man among menがった rose upかれ he; himたけ height; statureる look at; view; gageほかの other先生せんせいがた gentlemen; patrons三寸さんずん 3 sun (about 12 cm; about 4 inches)たかい tallかお faceひげ beard; whiskersえて grow同居どうきょして take up residence withわからない can't say; can't tellあかつら red faceかえして throw (one's head) back日盛ひざかり high noonがねをつくようなこえ resounding voice; thunderous voiceして put forthうめろ add cold water (to a bath)さけぶ scream; yell; cry紛々ふんぷん confusion; jumbleもつう be tangled together群衆ぐんしゅう horde; throng傑出けっしゅつして stand apart from; excel above瞬間しゅんかん moment; instant全体ぜんたい whole; entiretyおとこ man; fellow一人ひとり one person; single soul超人ちょうじん superior man; superman; Übermenschニーチェ Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900; German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet, and philologist)魔中まちゅう among devils; among demons大王だいおう great king頭梁とうりょう head; chief; boss (usually 頭領とうりょう)うしろ behind; in back ofこたえた answered; respondedひとみをそらす divert one's gaze; direct one's attention (to)暗憺あんたんとして dark; dim物色ぶっしょく出来できぬ can't discern; can't pick outれいの the aforementionedちゃんちゃん姿すがた in padded sleeveless kimono jacket; in Japanese vest三介さんすけ (bath house) helper boyくだけよと giving it all one's got一塊ひとかたまり one lump; a single lump石炭せきたん coalかまど kamado; stove; furnaceれる throw into; toss intoふた cover; lidかたまり lump; mass; clumpぱちぱちとる resound; crackle; pop半面はんめん face in profileあかるくなる become light; light up同時どうじに at the same time煉瓦れんが brickかべ wallやみ darkness; the darkとおして pass throughえる burn; catch fireひかった flashed with light少々しょうしょう somewhat; to some degree物凄ものすごくなった became overwhelming; was all too intense早々そうそう quickly; promptly; without delayまど windowりて jump down (from)いえ house; homeかえる return (home)かんがえた thought; considered羽織はおり haori (Japanese half-coat)ぎ take off; strip off; shed猿股さるまた shorts; drawers; underpantsはかま hakama (men's formal pleated skirt)平等びょうどう equality; uniformityつとめる endeavor; work toward; try for赤裸々せきらら nakedness; nudity豪傑ごうけつ hero; great manて come forth; appear群小ぐんしょう minor; petty (men)圧倒あっとうして overpower; dominateられる can achieve; can attain