I am a Cat (Chapter 9 a) Section 289 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

針作しんさくくん九拝きゅうはいであったが、このおとこたん再拝さいはいだけである。寄附金きふきん依頼いらいでないだけに七拝しちはいほど横風おうふうかまえている。寄附金の依頼ではないがそのかわすこぶるわかりにくいものだ。どこの雑誌ざっしして没書ぼっしょになる価値かち充分じゅうぶんあるのだから、頭脳ずのう不透明ふとうめいをもって主人しゅじんかなら寸断寸断ずたずたいてしまうだろうとおもいのほかかえかえなおしている。こんな手紙てがみ意味いみがあるとかんがえて、あくまでその意味をきわめようという決心けっしんかもれないおよそ天地てんちかんわからんものは沢山たくさんあるが意味をつけてつかないものはひともない。どんなむずかしい文章ぶんしょうでも解釈かいしゃくしようとすれば容易ようい解釈の出来できものだ。人間にんげん馬鹿ばかであるとおうが、人間は利口りこうであると云おうがもなくわかることだ。それどころではない。人間はいぬであると云ってもぶたであると云ってもべつくるしむほどの命題めいだいではない。やまひくと云ってもかまわん宇宙うちゅうせまと云ってもつかえはないからすしろくて小町こまち醜婦しゅうふ苦沙弥くしゃみ先生せんせい君子くんしでもとおらんことはない。だからこんな無意味むいみ手紙でもなんとかとか理窟りくつさえつければどうとも意味はとれる。ことに主人のようにらぬ英語えいご無理矢理むりやりこじけて説明せつめいとおして男はなおさら意味をつけたがるのである。天気てんきるいのになぜグード・モーニングですかと生徒せいとわれて七日間なぬかかん考えたり、コロンバスと云う日本語にほんごで何と云いますかとかれて三日みっか三晩みばんかかってこたえ工夫くふうするくらいな男には、干瓢かんぴょう酢味噌すみそのが天下てんかであろうと、朝鮮ちょうせん仁参にんじんって革命かくめいおこそう随意ずいい意味は随処ずいしょわけである。主人はしばらくしてグード・モーニングりゅうこの難解なんかい言句ごんくんだえて「なかなか意味いみ深長しんちょうだ。何でもよほど哲理てつり研究けんきゅうしたひとちがいない天晴あっぱれ見識けんしきだ」と大変たいへん賞賛しょうさんした

Rough translation

Shinsaku offered all of his due respect, but this fellow only offers his sincerity. His lesser servility may stem from the fact that he's not seeking donations. While it's clear he's not after a donation, it's not at all clear what he is after. Such rambling prose would be due grounds for rejection by any worthy editor, so one might expect the master, lacking the intellectual horsepower to unpack it, would tear it up and throw it in the trash. Contrary to expectation, though, he reads it through several times over. He imagines there's meaning in this madness and is determined, perhaps, to chase it to ground. Between the heavens and the earth, there's much that's not understood, yet nothing that defies explanation. Prose too, no matter how abstruse, lends itself freely to creative interpretation. Human beings, as another example, are as easily seen as fools as as sages. And why stop there? The assertion that men are dogs, or that men are pigs, is not so hard to defend. Mountains can be called small rises, and the cosmos can be called cramped and confined. Why not assert crows are white, and why not label the town belle an ugly hag? Master Kushami a noble gentleman? Why not? This muddled letter too then, rationalized with a proper dose of logic, is bound to yield up truths. A fellow like the master, in particular, who's made a career of elucidating English prose that's over his head, is wont to draw out meaning. This is a man who, questioned by a student on the use of "good morning" on days when the weather is anything but good, racked his mind for seven days. When asked the Japanese word for "Columbus," he agonized for three days and three nights to fashion an answer. To such a man, an association between dried gourd pickled with miso and great men, or an association between rebellion and ginseng is by no stretch a bridge too far. Just as he pondered and pondered "good morning," he slowly digests the demanding prose before him for, and confusion slowly gives way to insight. "Most profound. No doubt the work of a great itellect. Brilliantly expressed." The master is duly impressed.

Vocabulary

針作しんさく Shinsaku (name)くん (suffix of familiarity for males)九拝きゅうはい with utmost respect (lit: bowing nine times)おとこ man; fellowたんに simply; merely再拝さいはい sincerely yours; yours truly (lit: bowing and bowing again)寄附金きふきん (monetary) donation; contribution依頼いらい request七拝しちはい seven bows横風おうふうかまえて take a superior attitude; set oneself apartそのかわり in exchange; in returnわかりにくい hard to comprehend; hard to make sense of雑誌ざっし journal; magazine; periodicalして submit没書ぼっしょ rejected manuscript価値かち value; merit充分じゅうぶん adequately; sufficiently頭脳ずのう head; brains; intellect不透明ふとうめい opaque; obscure; murkyをもってる is known for ...; is renowned for ...主人しゅじん masterかならず invariably; without fail寸断寸断ずたずた (cutting) to piecesいて tear up; shredおもいのほか unexpectedly; surprisinglyかえかえし coming at again and againなおして reread手紙てがみ letter; correspondence意味いみ meaning; significanceかんがえて think; consider; assumeきわめよう investigate thoroughly; chase down決心けっしん resolve; determinationかもれない it may be ...およそ generally; on the whole; as a rule天地てんち heaven and earthかんに between ...沢山たくさん very much; a great manyひとつ one (thing)文章ぶんしょう writing; composition; prose解釈かいしゃくしようとすれば seek to interpret; set out to explain容易よういに easily出来できる can do; can manage人間にんげん human beings; men馬鹿ばか foolish; stupid; dullおう say; state利口りこう clever; intelligent; wiseもなく easily; readilyこと case; situationいぬ dogsぶた pigsべつに especially; in particularくるしむ struggle with; find difficult命題めいだい proposition; thesis; notionやま mountainひくい low; small (in height)かまわん doesn't matter; is not a problem宇宙うちゅう the universe; the cosmosせまい narrow; crampedつかえはない not a problem; allowable; acceptableからす crow; ravenしろくて is white小町こまち belle; (town) beauty醜婦しゅうふ ugly woman; unattractive woman苦沙弥くしゃみ Kushami (the master's name)先生せんせい teacher; professor; scholar君子くんし gentlemanとおらんことはない may well be accepted無意味むいみな meaningless; nonsensicalなんとかとか something or other (play on なんとかかんとか)理窟りくつ reason; logicらぬ unknown; unfamiliar英語えいご English (words; language)無理矢理むりやりに by force; through compulsionこじけて strain (interpretation); force (meaning)説明せつめいとおしてた has managed over time to explain天気てんき weatherるい bad; poor; foulグード・モーニング good morning生徒せいと studentsわれて be questioned (by)七日間なぬかかん seven daysコロンバス Columbus name日本語にほんご Japanese (language)かれて be asked三日みっか三晩みばん three days and three nightsこたえ answer; response工夫くふうする work at; fashion干瓢かんぴょう strips of dried gourd酢味噌すみそ vinegared miso天下てんか under heaven; in this world gentlemen朝鮮ちょうせん仁参にんじん ginsengって eat革命かくめい revolution; rebellionおこそう start; give rise to; instigate随意ずいいな of one's choosing随処ずいしょ everywhere; at every turnる bubble up; surfaceわけ situation; caseりゅうに in the manner of難解なんかいな unintelligible; abstruse言句ごんく words; expressionsんだ took in; digestedえて appear; seem意味いみ深長しんちょう steeped in meaning; profound哲理てつり philosophy研究けんきゅうした researched; studiedひと person; manちがいない without doubt ...; clearly ...天晴あっぱれな brilliant; admirable見識けんしき insight; discernment大変たいへん very much; a great deal賞賛しょうさんした praised; commended