I am a Cat (Chapter 9 a) Section 288 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

われもっ天地てんちりっすれば一口ひとくちにして西江せいこうみずいつくすべく、若し天地を以て我を律すれば我はすなわ陌上はくじょうちりのみ。すべからく、天地と我と什麼いんも交渉こうしょうかある。……はじめて海鼠なまこいだせるひとその胆力たんりょくおいけいすべく、始めて河豚ふぐきつせるおとこは其勇気ゆうきに於ておもんずべし。海鼠をくらえるものは親鸞しんらん再来さいらいにして、河豚を喫せるものは日蓮にちれん分身ぶんみなり。苦沙弥くしゃみ先生せんせいごといたってはただ干瓢かんぴょう酢味噌すみそのみ。干瓢の酢味噌を食って天下てんかたるものは、われいまこれ。……

親友しんゆうなんじべし父母ふぼも汝にわたくしあるべし。愛人あいじんも汝をべし。富貴ふっきもとよりたのみがたかるべし。爵禄しゃくろく一朝いっちょうにしてうしなべし。汝の頭中とうちゅう秘蔵ひぞうする学問がくもんにはかびえるべし。汝なにたのまんとするか。天地のうちに何をたのまんとするか。かみ? 神は人間にんげんくるしまぎれ捏造でつぞうせる土偶どぐうのみ。人間のせつなぐそ凝結ぎょうけつせる臭骸しゅうがいのみ。恃むまじきを恃んでやす咄々とつとつ酔漢すいかんみだりに胡乱うろん言辞げんじろうして蹣跚まんさんとしてはかむかあぶらきてとうおのずかめっごう尽きて何物なにものをかのこ。苦沙弥先生よろしく御茶おちゃでもがれ。……

人を人とおもわざればおそるるところなし。人を人と思わざるものが、われを吾と思わざるいきどお如何いかん権貴栄達けんきえいたつは人を人と思わざるに於てたるがごと。只ひとの吾を吾と思わぬときに於て怫然ふつぜんとしていろ任意にんいいろきた馬鹿ばか野郎やろう。……

吾の人を人と思うとき、他の吾を吾と思わぬ時、不平家ふへいか発作的ほっさてき天降あまくだこの発作的活動かつどうづけて革命かくめいという。革命は不平家の所為しょいにあらず。権貴栄達の士がこのんでさんする所なり。朝鮮ちょうせん人参にんじんおお先生なにゆえふくせざる

ざい巣鴨すがも        天道てんどう公平こうへい

再拝さいはい

Rough translation

If I were master over heaven and earth, I should swallow the River Xi in a single gulp. If heaven and earth were the master of me, then what would I be but dust on the wayside? Tell me then, which is it? Where do I stand with respect to heaven and earth? ... We don't know who first ate sea slug, but we have to respect his courage. We don't know which brave man first indulged in fugu, but we have to praise his valor. The man who first ate sea slugs harbors the spirit of Shinran, and he who first indulged in fugu is Nichiren reborn. A man like you, dearest Kushami, knows only dried gourd pickled with miso. We've yet to see, in this whole wide world, a great man raised from dried gourd and miso. ...

Your closest friends will sell you out. Your parents too will put their own interests first. Lovers will cast you aside. Riches and honor are fickle friends. Status and stipend are here and then gone. That treasured learning, which you've packed inside your head, erodes away with time. What is left to rely on? Under heaven and earth, where do you place your faith? In the gods? The gods are but clay figurines, crafted by desperate men. Reeking hulls of excrement, they fail to hold their form. Relying on the unreliable, men purport to be comforted. Frustrated drunkards one and all, they spout out dubious truths as they totter toward their graves. A lamp, run out of oil, goes dark of its own accord. When your destiny's run its course, what then will remain? My dearest Kushami, perhaps it's time for a cup of tea. ...

If you hold other men in contempt, then you've no need to fear them. Those who hold others in comtempt, though, must shore their own selves 'gainst the world's disdain. Gentlemen of power, wealth, and fame revel in contempt for others. Disdain in return, however, is met at once with angry indignation. Leave them to their seething, such blasted idiots! ...

Holding other men in high regard, yet being met in return with disdain, breeds fitful bouts of discontent. These fitful bouts are the basis of rebellion. The spark of rebellion, though, cannot be found in the fitful bouts of malcontents. Rebellion is willfully sparked by gentlemen of power, wealth, and fame. There's ample ginseng in Korea. Won't you try some, dear sir?

Most sincerely yours,

Tendō Kōhei    (Sugamo)

Vocabulary

し if; supposingわれ I; me; oneselfもって by; with天地てんち heaven and earthりっすれば control; rule over; be master of一口ひとくち a single gulp西江せいこう Xi River (southern China)みず water; watersいつく swallow upすべく in order to ...; for the purpose of ...すなわち nothing but; nothing more or less than陌上はくじょうの wayside; roadsideちり dust; dirtすべからく absolutely; by all means; entirelyえ say; tell什麼いんも what sort; what kind交渉こうしょう connection; relationshipはじめて for the first time海鼠なまこ sea cucumber; sea slugいだせる begin (the custom of) eatingひと person; manその that胆力たんりょく courage; nerveおいて with respect to; regardingけいすべく must be respected河豚ふぐ puffer fish; blow fish; fuguきつせる taste; partake ofおとこ man's man; bold fellow勇気ゆうき courage; bravery; valorおもんずべし must honor; should hold in esteemくらえる eat親鸞しんらん Shinran (Buddhist monk; 1173-1263)再来さいらい second advent; reincarnation日蓮にちれん Nichiren (Buddhist priest; 1222-1282)分身ぶんみ incarnation of苦沙弥くしゃみ Kushami (the master's name)先生せんせい teacher; professor; scholarごとき like ...いたっては when it comes toただ merely; simply干瓢かんぴょう strips of dried gourd酢味噌すみそ vinegared misoる know; be familiar with天下てんか under heaven; in this worldたる is an esteemed gentlemanいまだ not yetこれ this thing; such thingず not see; not observe; not encounter 親友しんゆう close friendsなんじ you (archaic)る sell out; betray; deludeべし will (surely); are wont to父母ふぼ father and mother; parentsわたくし selfishness; partiality愛人あいじん loverつ cast away; discard富貴ふっき riches and honors; wealth and rankもとより from the first; as matter of courseたのみがたかる be unreliable; be undependable (= たのがたかる)爵禄しゃくろく status and stipend一朝いっちょうにして in a day; in a brief span of timeうしなう lose頭中とうちゅう in one's head; in one's mind秘蔵ひぞうする treasure; prize; hold dear学問がくもん scholarship; learningかび mold; mildewえる growなに whatたのまんとする rely on; put one's faith inうち in; withinかみ the gods; divinities人間にんげん human beings; menくるしまぎれ desperation捏造でつぞうせる fabricate; concoct土偶どぐう earthen figure; clay figureせつなぐそ ephemeral excrement凝結ぎょうけつせる coagulate; congeal臭骸しゅうがい reeking hullまじき should not be; must not beやすし comfort; consolationう state; declare (as)咄々とつとつ angrily; in frustration酔漢すいかん drunkard; drunken fellowみだりに recklessly; rashly胡乱うろんの dubious言辞げんじ language; speech; wordsろうして make use of; wield蹣跚まんさんとして staggering; reeling; totteringはか grave; tombむかう head towardあぶら oilきて run out; be exhaustedとう light; lampおのずから naturally; of its own accordめっす go out; be extinguishedごう one's destiny; one's fate何物なにもの somethingのこす leave behind御茶おちゃ teaがれ drink (honorific) おもわざれば not regard as; dismiss; disdainおそるる fear; be afraid of (= おそれる)ところ point; aspect; facetわれ I; me world; societyいきどおる resent; rail against如何いかん in the wrong; unjustified; not allowed権貴栄達けんきえいたつ power, wealth, and fame gentlemenたるがごとし be disposed toward; revel inひと other people; othersとき time; occasion怫然ふつぜんとして with indignationいろす turn red with anger任意にんいに as one likes; as one pleasesいろきたれ let (them) rage red with anger馬鹿ばか野郎やろう blasted idiots; worthless scoundrels 不平家ふへいか grumbler; grouser; malcontent発作的ほっさてきに fitfully天降あまくだる be brought back down to earth; re-engage with the worldこの this活動かつどう activities; actionsづけて name; label革命かくめい revolution; rebellion所為しょい acts; deedsこのんで by choice; willinglyさんする give rise to; produce朝鮮ちょうせん Korea人参にんじん ginseng (= 朝鮮ちょうせん人参にんじんん)おおし plentiful; in abundanceなにゆえに for what reasonふくせざる not take; not drink (medicine or tea) ざい situated in ...; resident in ...巣鴨すがも Sugamo (place name; in north-central Tōkyō)天道てんどう公平こうへい Tendō Kōhei (name) 再拝さいはい sincerely yours; yours truly (lit: bowing and bowing again)