Botchan (Chapter 2) Section 019 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana



Rough translation

Immediately after lunch I wrote a letter to Kiyo. I hate writing letters. My composition skills are poor, and I can never remember my kanji [Chinese characters]. I've never had anyone to write to anyway. However, I knew that Kiyo would be worrying about me. I didn't want her to imagine I might have been shipwrecked and drowned, so I made my best effort and wrote her a long letter as follows.

"Arrived yesterday. Dull place. I'm staying in a splendid fifteen-mat room. I gave the inn a five-yen tip. The hostess bowed her head to the floor in gratitude. Couldn't sleep last night. Dreamt that you were eating leaf-wrapped sweets, bamboo leaf and all. Will return next summer. Went to the school today and assigned nicknames to those I met. The principal is 'Tanuki,' the head teacher is 'Red Shirt,' the English teacher is 'Uranari,' the head mathematics teacher is 'Yama Arashi,' and the art instructor is 'Nodaiko' [a third-rate clown]. Will write more soon. Take care."


昼飯ひるめし noon meal; lunchって eat早速さっそく right awayきよ Kiyo (name of Botchan's former maidservant)手紙てがみ letter文章ぶんしょう writing; compositionうえに in addition to (Chinese) charactersらない don't knowく write大嫌だいきらい hate; can't standところ place心配しんぱい worry難船なんせん shipwreckに die; perishおもっちゃ think; imagineこまる don't want (to let something happen)奮発ふんぱつして exert oneselfながい long; lengthy文句もんく words; content いた arrived十五畳じゅうごじょう 15 mats (about 25 sq meters; about 250 sq ft)座敷ざしき roomて staying; sleeping宿屋やどや inn茶代ちゃだい tip五円ごえん five yenかみさん hostessあたま headいた wooden floorすりつけた rub againstゆうべ last nightられなかった couldn't sleep笹飴ささあめ sweet rice jelly wrapped in a bamboo leafささごと bamboo leaf and allう eatゆめ dreamた saw来年らいねん next yearなつ summerかえる return (home)今日きょう today学校がっこう schoolって went toあだな nickname校長こうちょう principalたぬき Tanuki (raccoon dog)教頭きょうとう head teacherあかシャツ Red Shirt英語えいご English教師きょうし instructorうらなり Uranari (fruit grown near the top end of the vine)数学すうがく mathematics山嵐やまあらし Yama Arashi (mountain storm; frightful mountain deity)画学ががく drawing; artのだいこ Nodaiko (amateur clown; third-rate clown)いまに soonこと act; fact