Practice text with full furigana














Rough translation

Mineko swept, and Sanshirō followed with a wet rag. While Sanshirō beat the dirt from the tatami mats, Mineko dusted the shōji. By the time they finished a once-through cleaning, they were working comfortably together.

Sanshirō went to the kitchen to put fresh water in his bucket. Mineko took the duster and broom and headed upstairs.

"Come up," she called to Sanshirō from above.

"What is it?" Sanshirō appeared at the bottom of the stairs with his bucket. She was standing up on the dark landing. All he could see was the bright white of her apron. Still holding his bucket, he climbed up several steps. She didn't move. He climbed two more steps. On the dimly lit stairs, their faces were now quite close.

"What is it?"

"It's too dark. I can't go up."

"Why not?"

"I just can't."

Sanshirō saw no reason to press the matter further. He slipped past her and stepped up onto the floor. He set his bucket down in the dark balcony corridor and tried to open a storm shutter. He couldn't find the bolt to unlatch it. Mineko came up after him.

"Won't open yet?" She went to the opposite side. "Here it is."

Without speaking, Sanshirō moved toward her. As their hands were almost touching, he stumbled over his bucket and kicked up a racket. When they finally succeeded in opening the shutter, bright sunlight flooded the room. It was almost blinding. They looked at each other and couldn't refrain from laughing.


美禰子みねこ Mineko (name)く sweep三四郎さんしろう Sanshirō (name)雑巾ぞうきん cleaning ragたたみ tatami (mats)障子しょうじ shōjiはたく dust off掃除そうじ cleaningひととおり once overんだ be finishedとき time二人ふたり two peopleしたしくなった were on friendly terms みず waterえ exchange; change out台所だいどころ kitchenった went (to)はたき dusterほうき broomって hold; carry二階にかい 2nd floor; upstairsがった went up (to) て comeうえ aboveぶ call for 梯子段はしごだん staircaseした below; bottomう say; replyおんな young ladyくらい darkところ placeって standまえだれ apronまっしろ pure white三段さんだん two or three steps薄暗うすぐらい dimかお face一尺いっしゃく 1 shaku (about 30 cm; about 1 foot)距離きょり distance 追窮ついきゅうする inquire further; press a matter intentionすりけて slip pastた arrived椽側えんがわ balcony; outer corridorいて place; set down (storm) shutterさん sliding window bolt まだあからなくって Won't open yet? 反対はんたい oppositeがわ side だまって without speakingほう direction近寄ちかよった approachedすこし a little; a bit hand自分じぶんの one's ownれるところ just short of touchingつまずいた stumbled over (= つまずいた)おおきなおと loud sound; loud noise一枚いちまい one (door)つよい strong sunlightさしんだ poured inまぼしい blinding (= まぶしい)二人ふたり two (people)かお見合みあわせて look at each otherおもわず on impulseわらした laughed