I am a Cat (Chapter 8 a) Section 238 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

ぜんもうごとく、ここへ当時とうじは、れい空地あきちかきがないので、落雲館らくうんかん君子くんし車屋くるまやくろのごとく、のそのそと桐畠きりばたけ這入はいんできてはなしをする弁当べんとうささうえ寝転ねころ――いろいろのことをやったものだ。それからは弁当の死骸しがいすなわたけかわふる新聞しんぶん、あるいはふる草履ぞうりふる下駄げた、ふるのつくものを大概たいがいここへてたようだ。無頓着むとんじゃくなる主人しゅじん存外ぞんがい平気へいきかまえて別段べつだん抗議こうぎもうまずにぎたのは、らなかったのか、知ってもとがめんつもりであったのかわからない。ところが彼等かれら諸君子しょくんし学校がっこう教育きょういくくるしたがって、だんだん君子らしくなったものとえて次第しだい北側きたがわから南側みなみがわ方面ほうめんけて蚕食さんしょくきわだてて。蚕食と云うが君子に不似合ふにあいならやめてもよろしい。ただほかに言葉ことばがないのである。彼等は水草すいそううてきょへんずる沙漠さばく住民じゅうみんのごとく、きりってひのきほうすすんで。檜のあるところ座敷ざしき正面しょうめんである。よほど大胆だいたんなる君子でなければこれほどの行動こうどうれんはずである。一両日いちりょうじつのち彼等の大胆はさらに一層いっそうだいくわえて大々胆だいだいたんとなった。教育の結果けっかほどおそろしいものはない。彼等はたん座敷の正面にせまのみならず、この正面においてうたをうたいだした。なんと云う歌かわすれてしまったが、けっして三十一文字みそひともじたぐいではない、もっと活溌かっぱつで、もっと俗耳ぞくじはいやす歌であった。おどろいたのは主人ばかりではない、吾輩わがはいまでも彼等君子の才芸さいげい嘆服たんぷくしておぼえずみみかたむけたくらいである。しかし読者どくしゃ案内あんないであろうが、嘆服と云う事と邪魔じゃまと云う事はときとして両立りょうりつする場合ばあいがある。この両者りょうしゃがこのさいはからずもがっしてひとつとなったのは、いまからかんがえてかえがえ残念ざんねんである。主人も残念であったろうが、やむを書斎しょさいからしてって、ここは君等きみらの這入る所ではない、出給でたまと云って、二三度にさんどしたようだ。

Rough translation

As I've already mentioned, when the master first moved in, this vacant land was unfenced, and the gentlemen of Rakuunkan, just like Kurumaya no Kuro, could wander among the paulownia trees at will. They would sprawl themselves about on the bamboo grass, shooting the breeze, eating their lunches, or doing whatnot. In their wake were lunch box remains, bamboo sheaves, and old newspapers to mention a few. This land, it seemed, also attracted their old zōri, old geta, or anything else deemed old and worn. The master, surprisingly, carried on in total and complete indifference, neither expressing concern nor raising any particular objection. I can't say whether he wasn't aware or whether he was aware and just chose not to engage. Our young gentlemen, however, growing into bonafide gentlemen as their schooling progressed, with time abandoned this north quarter, only to set their sights on infiltrating the south. Perhaps the word "infiltrating" is inappropriate when describing the movement of gentlemen, but there's no other apt word. Like a wandering desert tribe, breaking camp to seek out the next oasis, they quit the paulownias and advanced upon the cedars. The cedars grow just off the living room. Only the boldest of gentlemen would advance with such audacity. It was clear in the course of days, however, that audacity breeds audacity. There's nothing worse than schooled gentlemen. Not only did they camp outside of the living room, but they chose this spot to let loose with song. What song it was, I can't recall, but it was certainly no tanka. It was a lively tune, drawing on the common vernacular. The master, in spite of himself, was duly impressed with their musical talents, and I have to confess that I too was impressed. We couldn't help but lend them an ear. That being said, I'm sure the reader will appreciate that the same thing can be, on occasion, both wonder and scourge at the same time. Most regrettably, this was one such occasion where these disparate attributes met. The master, I believe, regretted this too. More than once, he felt compelled to break from his work in the study, rush forth, admonish the students, remind them they didn't belong there, and shoo them away.

Vocabulary

ぜん before; earlier; priorもうす say; state; mentionし moving in当時とうじ the time in questionれいの the aforementioned空地あきち vacant land; empty lotかき fence; hedge落雲館らくうんかん Rakuunkan (name of a private middle school)君子くんし gentlemen車屋くるまやくろ Kurumaya no Kuro (name of a neighboring cat)桐畠きりばたけ paulownia grove這入はいんできて came intoはなしをする talk; converse; shoot the breeze弁当べんとう bentō; box lunchう eatささ bamboo grassうえ top of寝転ねころぶ lie down; sprawl out (on)こと activities死骸しがい carcass; remainsすなわち that is ...; namely ...たけかわ bamboo sheavesふる新聞しんぶん old newspapersふる草履ぞうり old zōri (traditional thonged sandals)ふる下駄げた old geta (wooden clogs)う called; referred to as name大概たいがい generally; for the most partてた tossed away; discarded無頓着むとんじゃくなる (is) inattentive; indifferent主人しゅじん master存外ぞんがい contrary to expectation; surprisingly平気へいきに calmly; coolly; without concernかまえて adopt a posture; assume a stance別段べつだん in particular; especially抗議こうぎ protest; objectionもうまずに without lodging (an objection)ぎた bided one's timeらなかった didn't know; wasn't awareとがめん not reproach; not take to taskわからない don't know; can't say彼等かれら they; them諸君子しょくんし various gentlemen学校がっこう school教育きょういく education; instruction; trainingくる receive; be given (= ける)したがって in accordance with; as ...えて appear; seem次第しだいに gradually; over time北側きたがわ north side南側みなみがわ south side方面ほうめん area; regionけて turn toward蚕食さんしょく encroachment; incursion; infiltrationきわだててた came to plan; began to contemplate word; expression不似合ふにあい unbecoming; improperただし however言葉ことば word; term水草すいそう water and vegetationうて follow; persueきょ residence; living quartersへんずる change; vary; alter沙漠さばく desert住民じゅうみん residents; inhabitantsきり paulownia treesって move away fromひのき Japanese cypress (tree)ほう directionすすんでた advancedところ place; area; region座敷ざしき living room; parlor正面しょうめん frontage; front-facing (area)大胆だいたんなる (is) bold; daring; audacious行動こうどう actions; movementれん can't take on; can't engage in一両日いちりょうじつ several days; a matter of daysのち after ...一層いっそう all the more; more stillだい large; big; grandくわえて add大々胆だいだいたん most bold; even more daring; highly audacious結果けっか result; consequenceおそろしい terrible; frightening; dreadfulたんに simply; merelyせまる approach; draw near toうた song; songsなん whatわすれてしまった forgot; have no recollectionけっして by (no) means三十一文字みそひともじ 31-mora poetry; tankaたぐい sort; type活溌かっぱつ lively; animated俗耳ぞくじ ears of the common manはいやすい easy to take inおどろいた was surprised吾輩わがはい I; me; myself才芸さいげい skill of performance; artistic talent嘆服たんぷくして was impressed (by)おぼえず unwittingly; in spite of oneselfみみかたむけた lent an ear to; listened to読者どくしゃ readers案内あんない (you) are aware邪魔じゃま nuisance; disruptionときとして at times; as the case may be両立りょうりつする stand together; coexist場合ばあい situation; case両者りょうしゃ both thingsさい occasion; circumstanceはからずも unexpectedlyがっして join together; combineひとつ one (thing)いま now; at this timeかんがえてて think onかえがえす to a tremendous extent残念ざんねん disappointing; regrettableやむをず necessarily; unavoidably書斎しょさい study; den; reading roomしてって go running out of君等きみら you; you all出給でたまえ please leave; be so good as to move on二三度にさんど several timesした chased off; drove away