I am a Cat (Chapter 5 b) Section 159 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana












Rough translation

"You ought to get out of teaching. One small theft and you're back again on your heels -- Are you sure you won't give business a try? It's never too late for a change."

"He despises the business world. You're only wasting your breath." The wife interjects in response to Tatara. In fact, she would love for the master to try his hand in business.

"How many years is it since you graduated?"

"This must be his ninth year out of school." The wife looks to her husband, who neither confirms nor refutes her reckoning.

"Nine years in, and no advancement. Hard as you study, the world takes no notice. 'The young lord, forsaken and alone ...'" Tatara recites to the wife a verse of poetry from his middle school days. The wife, unfamiliar with the referenced work, offers up no response.

"I despise teaching, but I despise the business world even more so." The master, it seems, is struggling to think what it is he takes liking in.

"He despises most everything ..."

"The only thing he doesn't despise, I take it, is his wife." Tatara, uncharacteristically, ventures a quip.

"Most despised of all." The master's reply is terse and unequivocal.

The wife diverts her gaze, pretending not to care. Then she looks back at the master. "Despises life itself." She rebuffs him to her own satisfaction.


先生せんせい teacher; professor; scholar (used here as form of address)教師きょうし teacher; instructor泥棒どろぼう thief; burglarって meet; encounterこまる be troubled; be in a bind一丁いっちょう onceいま now; the presentかんがえ thoughts; notionsえて change; alter実業家じつぎょうか businessman; industrialist きらい not to one's liking; not meeting one's favorそんなこと such mattersったって even if (you) say駄目だめ no good; of no use 細君さいくん the wifeそば nearby; next to多々良たたら Tatara (name)くん (suffix of familiarity for males)返事へんじをする give an answer; make a reply無論むろん of courseもらいたい want to have (someone do something) 学校がっこう school卒業そつぎょうして graduate from何年なんねん how many years 今年ことし this year九年目きゅうねんめ ninth year主人しゅじん masterかえりみる turn toそうでい is not the case って pass; elapse月給げっきゅう (monthly) salaryがらず not improve; stay the same勉強べんきょうして study; work atひと people; othersめちゃくれず not appreciate郎君ろうくん young lord; young noblemanひとり寂寞せきばく alone and solitary中学ちゅうがく時代じだい middle school daysおぼえた learned poem phrase; words; verse朗吟ろうぎんする reciteわかりかねた failed to comprehend; missed the point きらい not to one's liking; not meeting one's favorなに whatき to one's likingこころうちで inwardly; to oneselfかんがえて consider; think about なんでも anything and everything おくさん wife; lady of the houseがら似合にあわぬ out of character; uncharacteristic冗談じょうだん quip; wisecrack 一番いちばん most of all簡明かんめい terse; concise; clear-cutよこいて look away; divert one's gazeすました suppressed any reaction; pretended not to careふたたび once againほう directionて look (toward) きていらっしゃる living; life itself御嫌おきらい not to one's liking; not meeting one's favor充分じゅうぶん sufficiently; in good measureへこました pushed back at; rebuffed