Ten Nights of Dreams - Section 010 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana







Rough translation

I followed the old man as he stepped outside. He had a small bottle gourd tied to his waist and a square box under his arm that hung from a strap round his shoulder. He wore close-fitting workmens' trousers and a sleeveless shirt, both of light blue. His sandal socks were yellow, and looked as though made from skin or hide.

The old man proceeded directly to the willow tree, where several children were playing. With a gleam in his eyes, he produced a small blue towel from his waist pocket. He twisted it into a long and slender form, resembling a paper string. Then he placed it on the ground in the middle of the clearing. Next, he scratched a large circle in the dirt around it. Finally, he took out a brass candy seller's whistle from the box that hung from his shoulder.

"Now my towel becomes a snake. Watch closely. Watch closely." He repeated his words.

The children stared intently at the towel. I stared too.

"Watch closely. Watch closely. Are you watching?" As he spoke, the old man blew his whistle and began to step round the circle. My gaze never shifted from the towel. However, the towel remained still.

The old man's whistle continued to sound. He walked his circle again and again. He circled lightly, on the tips of his straw sandals, showing great deference to the towel. The scene was frightful, yet at the same time amusing.


じいさん old manおもて front; out frontた came out (to)自分じぶん oneself; Iあと afterこし waistちいさい small瓢箪ひょうたん (bottle) gourdぶらがって be suspended from; be tied toかた shoulder四角しかくな squareはこ boxわきした under one's armるして hang; suspend浅黄あさぎ light blue (= 浅葱あさぎ)股引ももひき close-fitting trousers穿いて wear (lower body)袖無そでなし sleeveless shirtて wear足袋たび toe socks (worn with sandals)黄色きいろい yellowなんだか somehowかわ skin; hide; peltつくった made (from)えた appeared (to be) 真直まっすぐに straightaway; directlyやなぎ willow treeた came (to)子供こども children三四人さんよにん three or four (people)わらいながら smiling; laughing手拭てぬぐい (hand) towel; handkerchiefした took out; produced肝心綯かんじんより twisted paper string細長ほそながく long and slenderった twisted地面じびた ground; earth; clearing (= べた)真中まんなか middle; centerいた set; placed周囲まわり outside perimeterおおきな largeまるい round ring; circleいた drew; sketchedなか inside真鍮しんちゅう brassこしらえた be made from飴屋あめや candy maker; candy sellerふえ whistle いまに soon; at any momentへび snakeて watch繰返くりかえしてった repeated 一生懸命いっしょうけんめいに with all one's effort; with one's all いか okay?いて blewうえ top of; surface ofまわした began to circleうごかなかった didn't move 何遍なんべんも many times; repeatedly草鞋わらじ straw sandals爪立つまだてる walk on tiptoe抜足ぬきあし stealthy footsteps; light tread遠慮えんりょをする show deferenceこわそう frightful面白おもしろそう amusing