I am a Cat (Chapter 4 b) Section 131 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

「そうだ仮令たとい半株はんかぶだって千年せんねんってるうちにゃくらみっくらいからな。きみぼくそのへんぬかりはない当世とうせい才子さいしだが、そこへ苦沙弥くしゃみなどはあわれなものだ。株えば大根だいこん兄弟分きょうだいぶんくらいにかんがえているんだから」とまた羊羹ようかんをつまんで主人しゅじんほうと、主人も迷亭めいてい伝染でんせんしておのずから菓子皿かしざらの方へなかでは万事ばんじ積極的せっきょくてきものがひとから真似まねらるる権利けんりゆうしている。

「株などはどうでもかまわんが、僕は曾呂崎そろさき一度いちどでいいから電車でんしゃらしてやりたかった」と主人はけた羊羹の歯痕はあと撫然ぶぜんとしてながめる

「曾呂崎が電車へ乗ったら、乗るたんびに品川しながわまで行ってしまうは、それよりやっぱり天然てんねん居士こじ沢庵石たくあんいしけられてるほう無事ぶじでいい」

「曾呂崎と云えばんだそうだな。どくだねえ、いいあたまおとこだったがしいことをした」と鈴木すずきくんが云うと、迷亭はただちにけて

「頭はかったが、めし事は一番いちばん下手へただったぜ。曾呂崎の当番とうばんときには、僕あいつでも外出がいしゅつをして蕎麦そばしのいでいた」

「ほんとに曾呂崎の焚いた飯はげくさくってしんがあって僕もよわった御負おまけに御菜おかずかなら豆腐とうふをなまで食わせるんだから、つめたくて食われやせん」と鈴木君も十年じゅうねんまえ不平ふへい記憶きおくそこからおこ

「苦沙弥はあの時代じだいから曾呂崎の親友しんゆう毎晩まいばんいっしょに汁粉しるこを食いに出たが、そのたたいまじゃ慢性まんせい胃弱いじゃくになってくるしんでいるんだ。じつを云うと苦沙弥の方が汁粉のかず余計よけい食ってるから曾呂崎よりさきへ死んでわけなんだ」

「そんな論理ろんりどこのくににあるものか。おれの汁粉より君は運動うんどうごうして、毎晩竹刀しないを持ってうら卵塔婆らんとうばへ出て、石塔せきとうたたいてるところを坊主ぼうずつかって剣突けんつくくらったじゃないか」と主人もけぬになって迷亭の旧悪きゅうあくあば

Rough translation

"Right you are. Even a half share, if held for a thousand years, will yield three roomfuls of riches. This point's not lost on talented modern men like you and me, but Kushami, sadly, is not yet there. Mention 'kabu,' and he only conjures up daikon and such." Meitei reaches for another yōkan and turns to the master. Meitei's appetite proves infectious, and the master's own hand reflexively extends toward the sweets dish. In this world of men, all decisive actions are endowed with the power to induce like response.

"You can have your stocks, but I wish I could have, even just once, taken Sorosaki to ride the electric trains." The master gazes, with a melancholy air, at the teeth marks in his half-eaten yōkan.

"Sorosaki would never have known to disembark short of Shinagawa. The safer play, as I see it, is to have 'Natural Man' inscribed in a takuwan stone."

"I heard he had passed away. Terrible shame. A brilliant fellow. Most unfortunate," Suzuki adds.

Meitei follows without hesitation. "Brilliant guy, but couldn't cook worth a damn. Whenever it was his turn in the kitchen, I'd slip out and make do with soba."

"He'd cook up rice with charred crust and gooey core. It was hard to stomach. To make matters worse, raw tōfu was his signature side dish, cold and unappealing." Suzuki digs into his memory and calls up a grievance from ten years prior.

"Kushami and Sorosaki were close then. Every night they'd head out for sweet bean soup. It's caught up with Kushami. He suffers now from chronic dyspepsia. Of the two, Kushami indulged the more. He should have, by all rights, been first in the grave."

"What kind of false logic is that? Worse by far than me and my soup, Meitei used to head out back to 'exercise' with his fencing stick. He beat it against the stone pillars in the cemetery, and the priest, who caught him in the act, chewed him out good." The master, with a tone of defiance, reminds Meitei of his own former transgressions.

Vocabulary

仮令たとい even if ...半株はんかぶ half a share (of stock)千年せんねん a thousand yearsってる hold; possess; ownくら storehouse; depository; treasuryみっつ three (things)つ be erected; be builtきみ youぼく I; meそのへん such matters; such thingsぬかりはない are not incapable; are shrewd enough; are sufficiently informed当世とうせい present day; modern times才子さいし talented men; clever menく go (to); 苦沙弥くしゃみ Kushami (the master's name)あわれな pitiable; patheticえば when one speaks of; if one mentions大根だいこん daikon兄弟分きょうだいぶん sworn brotherかんがえて think of; imagine (as)羊羹ようかん yōkan (jellied dessert made from red bean paste, agar, and sugar)主人しゅじん masterほう directionる look (toward)迷亭めいてい Meitei (name) appetite伝染でんせんして be contagious; prove infectiousおのずから reflexively菓子皿かしざら sweets dish handる extend; reach outなか society; the world万事ばんじ all things積極的せっきょくてきの positive; decisive; assertiveひと people; others真似まねらるる be imitated (= 真似まねられる)権利けんり right; privilege; authorityゆうして have; possess どうでもかまわん are of no concern; are beside the point曾呂崎そろさき Sorosaki (name)一度いちど one time; once電車でんしゃ electric trainらして take for a ride (on)けた half-eaten歯痕はあと teeth marks撫然ぶぜんとして pensively; solemnly; with an air of melancholy (usually 憮然ぶぜんとして)ながめる gaze at 品川しながわ Shinagawa (place name; southern end of first electric rail line in Tōkyō)天然てんねん居士こじ Natural Man; Genuine Man沢庵石たくあんいし big rock; heavy stone (used for weighting the lid of a 'takuan' pickling barrel)けられてる be carved; be engraved; be chiseled (into)ほう alternative (of two choices)無事ぶじ without incident; without mishap んだ died; passed awayどく unfortunate; regrettable; too badあたま head; mindおとこ man; fellowしい regrettable; unfortunateこと act; action; outcome鈴木すずき Suzuki (name)くん (suffix of familiarity for males)ただちに immediately; at onceけて pick up on; go with かった was good; was fineめし meal; foodく cook (food)一番いちばん most of all下手へた bungling; inept当番とうばん turn (at a task)とき time; occasion外出がいしゅつをして go out蕎麦そば soba; buckwheat noodlesしのいで get by; make do (with) げくさくって have a burnt tasteしん core; marrowよわった struggled with; found difficult御負おまけに in addition; to make matters worse御菜おかず side dishかならず invariably; without exception豆腐とうふ tōfuつめたくて cold十年じゅうねん ten yearsまえ before; prior不平ふへい complaint; grievance; point of discontent記憶きおく memoriesそこ bottom; depthsおこす call up 時代じだい time; period親友しんゆう close friend毎晩まいばん every night汁粉しるこ sweet red-bean soupたたり divine punishment; just retributionいま now; the present慢性まんせい胃弱いじゃく chronic dyspepsiaくるしんで sufferじつ truthかず number; amount; quantity余計よけい overly; in excessさき ahead of; beforeい might well have ...わけ case; situation 論理ろんり logicどこのくに where in the world; where on earthおれ I; me運動うんどう exercise; physical activityごうして call; declare (as)竹刀しない bamboo fencing stickうら out back卵塔婆らんとうば cemetery (with oval stones on angled bases; = 卵塔場らんとうば)石塔せきとう stone monumentsたたいて strike; beat坊主ぼうず (Buddhist) priestつかって be discovered (doing)剣突けんつくくらった caught a scoldingけぬになって with a feeling of defiance; pushing back; digging in one's heels旧悪きゅうあく past misdeeds; former transgressionsあばく disclose; divulge; bring to light