I am a Cat (Chapter 9 a) Section 286 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

拝啓はいけいいよいよ御多祥ごたしょう奉賀候がしたてまつりそろ回顧かいこすれば日露にちろ戦役せんえき連戦れんせん連勝れんしょういきおいじょうじて平和へいわ克復こくふくわれ忠勇ちゅうゆう義烈ぎれつなる将士しょうしいま過半かはん万歳ばんざいせい凱歌がいかそう国民こくみん歓喜かんきなにものかこれかんさき宣戦せんせん大詔たいしょう煥発かんぱつせらるる義勇公ぎゆうこうほうじたる将士はひさしく万里ばんり異境いきょうりて寒暑かんしょ苦難くなんしの一意いちい戦闘せんとう従事じゅうじめい国家こっかささげたる至誠しせいながめいしてわすれるべからざるところなりしこうして軍隊ぐんたい凱旋がいせん本月ほんげつもっほとんど終了しゅうりょうげんとすって本会ほんかいきた二十五にじゅうごにち本区内ほんくない一千いっせん有余ゆうよ出征しゅっせい将校しょうこう下士かしそつたい本区民ほんくみん一般いっぱん代表だいひょうもっ一大いちだい凱旋祝賀会しゅくがかい開催かいさいかね軍人ぐんじん遺族いぞく慰藉いしゃせん熱誠じゅくせい之をむかいささか感謝かんしゃ微衷びちゅうひょうたくついては各位かくい御協賛ごきょうひあおこの盛典せいてん挙行きょこうするさいわい本会の面目めんもく不過之これにすぎず存候ぞんじそろあいだ何卒なにとぞ御賛成ごさんせいふるって義捐ぎえんあらんこと只管ひたすら希望きぼうえずそろ敬具けいぐ

とあってにん華族様かぞくさまである。主人しゅじん黙読もくどく一過いっかのちただちにふうなかおさめてらんかおをしている。義捐などはおそらくしそうにない。せんだって東北とうほく凶作きょうさく義捐ぎえんきん二円にえんとか三円さんえんとかしてから、ひとごと義捐をとられた、とられたと吹聴ふいちょうしているくらいである。義捐とある以上いじょうもので、とられるものでないにはきまっている泥棒どろぼうにあったのではあるまいし、とられたとは不穏当ふおんとうである。しかるにもかんせず盗難とうなんにでもかかったかのごとくにおもってるらしい主人がいかに軍隊の歓迎かんげいだとって、いかに華族様の勧誘かんゆうだと云って、強談ごうだんちかけたらいざらず活版かっぱん手紙てがみくらいで金銭きんせんを出すような人間にんげんとはおもわれない。主人から云えば軍隊を歓迎するまえにまず自分じぶんを歓迎したいのである。自分を歓迎したあとなら大抵たいていのものは歓迎しそうであるが、自分が朝夕ちょうせきつかえるあいだ、歓迎は華族様にまかせておく了見りょうけんらしい。主人は第二信だいにしんげたが「ヤ、これも活版だ」と云った。

Rough translation

Greetings good sir. I hope this finds you well. Riding a succession of victories over these past months, our military has triumphed over their Russian foes, and peace has been restored. Our brave and noble men in uniform, to the delight of all citizens everywhere, sing songs of jubilation. Let us never forget the dedication of those officers and men who, responding to the Emperor's call, enlisted in the armed forces, shipped off to faraway lands, endured hot sun and frigid cold in devoted prosecution of the battle, and even laid down their lives in service to their country. This month marks the return of their comrades, and our association will be hosting a grand celebration on the 25th in their honor. Over one thousand of our local commissioned officiers, non-commissioned officers, and rank-and-file soldiers will take part. In addition, we believe it only propoer to express our heartfelt gratitude to the families of the fallen. To celebrate our fighting men in due fashion, with the enthusiastic backing of our citizenry, is our association's ultimate mission. It's my sincere hope that you'll donate generously to this grand cause. Yours most sincerely.

The signatory is a member of the peerage. The master, after reading it through, folds it up and returns it to its envelope with a look of indifference. Most likely he won't be contributing. From a while back now, after giving several yen for famine relief in the Tōhoku region, he complains to any and all how he was shaken down. As he clearly donated of his own free will, it's hard to see how he was shaken down. His recounting is entirely off base. After all, no one held a gun to his head. Nevertheless, the master feels he was robbed, and no finely printed letter, even for the sake of returning soldiers, and even at the behest of the peerage, will pry further funds from his grasp. As the master sees it, his obligations lie with himself first and returning soldiers second. Once his own needs are met, he's happy to lend a hand, but as things stand, with each day a struggle, the peerage can fend for themselves in fêting soldiers. The master takes up the second piece of mail. "Another one in typeset," he remarks.

Vocabulary

拝啓はいけい dear sir or madam (letter opening)いよいよ extremely; very much御多祥ごたしょう (your) great happiness奉賀候がしたてまつりそろ be cause for congratulations回顧かいこすれば look back on; review日露にちろ Japan and Russia; Russo-Japanese戦役せんえき military campaign; battle; war連戦れんせん連勝れんしょう succession of victoriesいきおい impetus; momentum; course (of events)じょうじて in accordance with; owing to平和へいわ peace克復こくふく restorationげ announce; proclaimわれ we; us忠勇ちゅうゆう loyalty and bravery義烈ぎれつ heroism将士しょうし officers and menいまや now at last過半かはん万歳ばんざいせい shouts of jubilationに with; by means of凱歌がいか victory songそうし play; perform; raise up (a song)国民こくみん people (of a country); citizens歓喜かんき joy; delightなにものか (above and beyond) all thingsこれかん is (found) in thisさき some time prior宣戦せんせん declaration of war大詔たいしょう Imperial edict煥発かんぱつせらるる be promulgated義勇公ぎゆうこう volunteer corpsほうじたる enlist with; serve inひさしく for a long time万里ばんり great distance (away)異境いきょう foreign land; far-off landりて being (in)く well; properly寒暑かんしょ hot and cold; summers and winters苦難くなん suffering; hardshipしのび bear; endure一意いちい wholeheartedly; devotedly戦闘せんとう battle; fight; combat従事じゅうじし prosecute; engage (in)めい lives国家こっか state; country; nationささげたる devote (to); sacrifice (for)至誠しせい sincerity; dedicationながく forever; in the years to comeめいして bear witness toわすれるべからざる must not forgetところ case; situation; matterしこうして thus; therefore軍隊ぐんたい military; armed forces凱旋がいせん triumphant return本月ほんげつ this monthもって on; at; as ofほとんど mostly; nearly; practically終了しゅうりょう end; finish; conclusionげんとす will markって for that reason本会ほんかい (our) association; organizationきたる the coming ...二十五にじゅうごにち 25th (day of the month)し fix; set (a date)本区内ほんくない within our city; within our district一千いっせん one thousand有余ゆうよ upwards of出征しゅっせい going off to war将校しょうこう commissioned officers下士かし noncommissioned officersそつ rank-and-file soldiersたいし with respect to; regarding本区民ほんくみん citizens of our district一般いっぱん general; common代表だいひょうし representもって in addition; moreover一大いちだい great ...; momentous ...祝賀会しゅくがかい celebration開催かいさいし sponsor; hold (an event)かねて concurrently軍人ぐんじん military personnel; soldiers遺族いぞく surviving family慰藉いしゃせん comfort; consoleめ in order to ...熱誠じゅくせい warmly; enthusiasticallyむかえ look forward toいささか to some extent; in some measure感謝かんしゃ gratitude微衷びちゅう one's sincere feelingひょうたく wish to expressついては therefore各位かくい each and every one (of you)御協賛ごきょうひ financial supportあおぎ ask for; seekこの this盛典せいてん grand ceremony挙行きょこうする celebrateさいわい happiness; fortuneば gain; secure面目めんもく honor; prestige不過之これにすぎず nothing greater than this存候ぞんじそろ believe to beあいだ due to; because of何卒なにとぞ please; by all means御賛成ごさんせい your supportふるって energetically; heartily義捐ぎえん donation; contributionあらんこと takes form; comes to be只管ひたすら earnestly; with all one's heart希望きぼう hope; wishえずそろ do most humbly ...敬具けいぐ sincerely yours (letter closing) にん sender華族様かぞくさま member of the peerage主人しゅじん master黙読もくどく reading silently一過いっか one pass; single passのち after ...ただちに immediately; at onceふう envelope (= 封筒ふうとう)なか insideおさめて roll up and put backらんかお look of indifferenceおそらく probably; most likely東北とうほく凶作きょうさく Tōhoku Famine (1905 famine following crop failure in Tōhoku region)義捐ぎえんきん (monetary) donation; contribution二円にえん two yen三円さんえん three yenして produce; give; contributeう meet; seeひと person; manごとに each and every one吹聴ふいちょうして proclaim; make known以上いじょうは given that ...す present; submitにはきまっている it goes without saying that ...泥棒どろぼう robber; thief不穏当ふおんとう inappropriate; unjustしかるにもかんせず nevertheless; all the same盗難とうなん robbery; theftかかった met with; fell victim toおもってる think; believe歓迎かんげい welcome; receptionって say; state勧誘かんゆう solicitation; canvasing; encouragement強談ごうだん compulsion; coercionちかけたら approach; proposeいざらず while maybe in the case of ...活版かっぱん printing; typography手紙てがみ letter; mailing金銭きんせん money人間にんげん person; manおもわれない doesn't seem (to be)まえ before; prior to自分じぶん oneselfあと after大抵たいていのもの things in general; other things朝夕ちょうせき morning and evening; the whole day throughつかえる have difficultiesあいだは as long as ...まかせておく leave to; entrust to了見りょうけん thought; intention第二信だいにしん second piece of correspondenceげた took up; picked up