Practice text with full furigana

第九だいきゅう


なかなんとなくざわつきはじめたいまにも戦争いくさおこりそうえるされた裸馬はだかうまが、夜昼よるひるとなく屋敷やしき周囲まわりまわと、それを夜昼となく足軽共あしがるどもひしめきながらおっかけているような心持こころもちがする。それでいていえのうちはしんとしてしずである。

家にはわかははみっになる子供こどもがいる。ちちはどこかへった。父がどこかへ行ったのは、つきていない夜中よなかであった。とこうえ草鞋わらじ穿いてくろ頭巾ずきんかぶって勝手口かってぐちから出て行った。そのとき母のっていた雪洞ぼんぼりくらやみ細長ほそながして生垣いけがき手前てまえにあるふるひのきらした

父はそれきりかえってなかった。母は毎日まいにち三つになる子供に「御父様おとうさまは」といている。子供はなんともわなかった。しばらくしてから「あっち」とこたえるようになった。母が「いつ御帰おかえ」と聞いてもやはり「あっち」と答えてわらっていた。その時は母も笑った。そうして「今に御帰り」と云う言葉ことば何遍なんべんとなく繰返くりかえしておしえた。けれども子供は「今に」だけを覚えたのみである。時々ときどきは「御父様はどこ」と聞かれて「今に」と答えることもあった。

よるになって、四隣あたりしずまると、母はおびなおして鮫鞘さめざや短刀たんとうを帯のあいだして、子供を細帯ほそおび背中せなか背負しょって、そっとくぐから。母はいつでも草履ぞうりを穿いていた。子供はこの草履のおとを聞きながら母の背中でてしまう事もあった。

土塀つちべいつづいている屋敷町やしきちょう西にしくだってだらだらざかくすと、おおきな銀杏いちょうがある。この銀杏を目標めじるしみぎれると、一丁いっちょうばかりおくいし鳥居とりいがある。片側かたがわ田圃たんぼで、片側は熊笹くまざさばかりのなかを鳥居まで、それをくぐけると、暗いすぎ木立こだちになる。それから二十間にじゅっけんばかり敷石伝しきいしづたいにあたと、ふる拝殿はいでん階段かいだんしたに出る。鼠色ねずみいろあらされた賽銭箱さいせんばこの上に、大きなすずひもぶらがって昼間ひるま見ると、その鈴のそば八幡宮はちまんぐうと云うがくかかっている。はちが、はと二羽にわむかいあったような書体しょたいにできているのが面白おもしろ。そのほかにもいろいろの額がある。たいていは家中かちゅうのものの射抜いぬいた金的きんてきを、射抜いたものの名前なまええたのがおお。たまには太刀たちおさめたのもある。

Rough translation

9th Night

Somehow, the world had become unsettled. The outbreak of war seemed imminent. It was as though an unbridled horse, having fled a burning barn, were rampaging endlessly round the grounds, while footmen gave chase in boisterous confusion. Inside the house, though, was stillness and quiet.

In the house were a young mother and her two-year-old child. The father had gone away. The father had gone in the middle of a moonless night. Seated on the bedding, he'd put on his straw sandals and tied a black bandana about his head. Then he'd left out the side door. As he'd departed, a wedge of light from the paper lantern held by the mother had pierced the darkness, illuminating an old cypress that grew inside the hedge.

The father had not since returned. Every day, the mother would ask her young child, "Where is your father?" The child said nothing. After a while, though, the child learned to say, "Away." When she asked, "When will you father be home?" the child answered, "Away," and smiled. The mother smiled back. Then she would always say, "Father will be home soon." The child, however, only remembered, "Soon." Sometimes, when she asked, "Where is your father?" the child replied, "Soon."

At dusk, when the town is quiet, the mother re-tightens the sash of her kimono and slips a dagger, sheathed in shark skin, into its folds. Then she secures the child to her back with a narrow strap of cloth and leaves quietly out the side door. She always wears her sandals. The child, listening to the sound of her sandals, sometimes falls asleep on the mother's back.

Along the earthen walls of the residential district, a gentle slope descends toward the west. At the bottom of the slope is a large gingko tree. From the gingko tree, turning to the right, a stone torii gate stands in the distance. The path to the gate leads through rice fields on one side and bamboo grass on the other. Within the gate is a thick grove of cedar. Paving stones extend from the gate, thirty meters or so, to the steps of an old shrine. At the bottom of the steps, the cord of a large bell hangs over a weathered gray offertory box. In daylight, one can read 'Hachimangū' on a plaque by the bell. Of particular interest is the character for 'Hachi,' which is drawn in a stylized form with two doves face to face. There are various other plaques as well. Many include a gold target, pierced by a clansman's arrow, along with the name of the marksman. Others pay tribute to the sword.

Vocabulary

第九だいきゅう 9th night なか society; the worldなんとなく somehow; in some mannerざわつきはじめた was becoming restless; was becoming unsettledいまにも at any moment戦争いくさ warおこりそう be imminent; be about to eruptえる seems; appears (that)された driven (out) by flames裸馬はだかうま unsaddled horse; unbridled horse夜昼よるひるとなく day and night; at all times屋敷やしき residence; estate周囲まわり edge; perimeterまわる run amok; rampage足軽共あしがるども foot soldiersひしめきながら with a great clamorおっかけて pursue; chase after心持こころもち atmosphere; moodいえ houseしんとしてしずか still and quiet わかい youngはは motherみっつ three (years old; two years old by Western counting)子供こども childちち fatherった went (off to)つき moonていない is not visible; does not appear夜中よなか middle of the nightとこ beddingうえ top of草鞋わらじ straw sandals穿いて put on (one's feet)くろい black頭巾ずきん kerchief; bandanaかぶって put on; cover (one's head)勝手口かってぐち kitchen door; service entranceとき time; occasionって carry; hold雪洞ぼんぼり paper-covered lantern light; lampくらやみ thick darkness; black of night細長ほそながく in a narrow bandして shone生垣いけがき hedge手前てまえ near sideふるい oldひのき hinoki; Japanese cypressらした illuminated かえってなかった didn't return毎日まいにち every day御父様おとうさま your fatherいて askなんともわなかった didn't say anythingこたえる answered御帰おかえり coming comeわらって smile言葉ことば words何遍なんべんとなく any number of times; over and over繰返くりかえして repeatおしえた taught; instructed時々ときどき sometimes; occasionallyこと case; instance よる evening四隣あたり surroundings; vicinityしずまる fall quietおび (kimono) sashなおして re-tighten; straighten鮫鞘さめざや sharkskin sheath短刀たんとう short sword; daggerあいだ midst; withinして insert; put into細帯ほそおび narrow sash背中せなか back (part of the body)背負しょって carry on one's backくぐり side door; side gateく go out; leave草履ぞうり Japanese sandalsおと soundてしまう fall asleep 土塀つちべい earthen wallつづいて continue; be unbroken屋敷町やしきちょう residential area西にし westくだって descend (toward)だらだらざか gentle slopeくす follow all the way downおおきな large銀杏いちょう gingko (tree)目標めじるし signpost; landmarkみぎ right (side)れる turn (toward)一丁いっちょう 1 chō (about 110 meters; about 120 yards)おく interior; withinいし stone鳥居とりい torii (Shinto shrine gate)片側かたがわ one side田圃たんぼ rice fields熊笹くまざさ bamboo grassなか middle; midstて come (to)くぐける pass throughすぎ cedar木立こだち stand of trees; grove二十間にじゅっけん 20 ken (about 35 meters; about 40 yards)敷石伝しきいしづたいに over paving stonesあたる come to the end ofふるい old; ancient拝殿はいでん front shrine; hall of worship階段かいだん stepsした bottom of鼠色ねずみいろ gray (lit: mouse color)あらされた washed out; faded; weathered賽銭箱さいせんばこ offertory boxすず bellひも cord; ropeぶらがって hang down昼間ひるま daytimeそば side; proximity八幡宮はちまんぐう Hachimangū (shrine dedicated to the god of archery and war)がく tablet; plaqueかかって be posted; be placedはち the character for Hachiはと dove二羽にわ two (birds)むかいあった face each other書体しょたい calligraphic style; stylized writing面白おもしろい noteworthy; of interest家中かちゅう clansman; retainer射抜いぬいた shot through; pierced金的きんてき gold target (small gold foil circle; smallest target in Japanese archery)名前なまえ nameえた accompany; be together withおおい most common太刀たち swordおさめた be dedicated to; pay tribute to