I am a Cat (Chapter 5 b) Section 168 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

吾輩わがはいがかく夢中むちゅうになって智謀ちぼうめぐらしていると、突然とつぜんやぶれたこし障子しょうじいて御三おさんかおぬうと。顔だけ出るうのは手足てあしがないと云うわけではない。ほかの部分ぶぶん夜目よめでよくえんのに、顔だけがいちじるしくつよいろをして判然はんぜん眸底ぼうていつるからである。御三はその平常へいじょうよりあかほうをますます赤くして洗湯せんとうからかえったついでに、昨夜ゆうべりてか、はやくから勝手かって戸締とじまりをする。書斎しょさい主人しゅじんおれステッキ枕元まくらもとしておけと云うこえきこえるなんのために枕頭ちんとうにステッキをかざのか吾輩にはわからなかった。まさか易水えきすい壮士そうし気取きどって竜鳴りゅうめいを聞こうと云う酔狂すいきょうでもあるまい。きのうはやまいも今日きょうはステッキ、明日あすは何になるだろう。

はまだあさねずみはなかなか出そうにない。吾輩は大戦たいせんまえ休養きゅうようようする

主人の勝手には引窓ひきまどがない。座敷ざしきなら欄間らんまと云うようなところはば一尺いっしゃくほどかれて夏冬なつふゆどおに引窓の代理だいりつとめているもなく彼岸桜ひがんざくらさそうてさっかぜおどろいてますと、朧月おぼろづきさえいつのしてか、へっついかげななめに揚板あげいたうえにかかる。寝過ねすごしはせぬかと二三度にさんどみみって家内かない容子ようすうかがと、しんとして昨夜のごとく柱時計はしらどけいおとのみ聞える。もう鼠の出る時分じぶんだ。どこから出るだろう。

戸棚とだななかでことことと音がしだす。小皿こざらふちあしおさえて、中をあらしているらしい。ここから出るわいあなよこすくんでっている。なかなか景色けしきはない。さらの音はやがてやんだが今度こんどはどんぶりかなにかかったらしい、おも音が時々ときどきごとごととする。しかもへだててすぐむこがわでやっている、吾輩のはなづら距離きょりにしたら三寸さんすんはなれておらん。時々はちょろちょろとあなくちまで足音あしおと近寄ちかよが、またとおのいて一匹いっぴきも顔を出すものはない。戸一枚いちまい向うに現在げんざいてき暴行ぼうこうたくましくしているのに、吾輩はじっと穴の出口でぐちで待っておらねばならん随分ずいぶんながはなしだ。鼠は旅順りょじゅんわんの中でさかん舞踏会ぶとうかいもようしている。せめて吾輩の這入はいれるだけ御三がこの戸を開けておけばのに、かぬ山出やまだだ。

Rough translation

As I'm thus absorbed in thought, taxing my creative faculties, the torn shōji slides open and Osan's face looms in the gap. That's not to say that she lacked her arms and legs. The rest of her was lost in the dark, and only her face, intensely bright by contrast, registered vividly in my eyes. Osan, who's ruddy face was even redder than usual on account of the baths, proceeded immediately, perhaps taking a lesson from the prior evening, to secure the kitchen. The master called out from the study for his walking stick to be placed by his pillow. Why he should choose to adorn his bedside with his walking stick was beyond me. Does he somehow fancy himself the Ekisui man-of-arms, ready to crack the air with lightning swings of his battlestaff? Yesterday it was yams, today it's the stick. Tomorrow is anyone's guess.

The night is still young. There's no sign yet of mice. In advance of my epic battle, a bit of rest is in order.

The master's kitchen has no louvered skylight. Instead, there's a width of cut-out, which in any other room would pass for a transom, that is open year-round and serves as ventilation. A breath of wind suddenly stirs, enticing the higen cherry tree to yield its blossoms, and startling me awake. A hazy moon has taken the sky, its light casting an oblique shadow line from from the edge of the stove onto the loose floorboards. Concerned I've slept too long, I twitch my ears several times and survey my surroundings. Just like the night prior, all is still, with the only sound being that of the wall clock. It's time for the mice to show. I'm wondering whence they'll come.

A scratching sound arises from the cupboard. They seem to be running its length, grasping the edges of small plates as they pass. Knowing now whence they'll come, I crouch down by the hole and wait. They don't seem inclined to emerge. The scratching of plates dissipates, only to be replaced by the occasional heavier rumbling of bowls or some larger dishes. Just the cupboard door separates us. They can't be but a short distance from the tip of my nose. At times, a scampering of feet approaches the opening, only to retreat. Not one of them shows its face. While my foes frolic and cavort to their hearts' content, I'm obliged to lie low and patiently bide my time guarding the outlet. The mice, lost in revelry, are dancing about in their Ryojun bowl. If only Osan, that clueless bumpkin, had had the sense to crack the door for me.

Vocabulary

吾輩わがはい I; me; myself夢中むちゅう absorbed; immersed (in something)智謀ちぼう ingenuity; resourcefulnessめぐらして turn over in one's mind突然とつぜん suddenly; abruptlyやぶれた tornこし障子しょうじ shōji with wooden panel at its baseいて open御三おさん Osan (the maidservant)かお faceぬうと looming (out of the dark)る appearうのは to say that ...手足てあし arms and legs; limbsわけ situation; circumstance部分ぶぶん parts; pieces夜目よめ in the darkえん can't be seen; are not visibleいちじるしく strikingly; remarkablyつよい strong; intenseいろ color; complexion判然はんぜん clearly; distinctly眸底ぼうていつる strike one's eyes平常へいじょう normal; usualあかき red; flushedほう cheeks; face洗湯せんとう public bath; bathhouseかえった returned昨夜ゆうべ the evening priorりて learn from experienceはやくから early on; straightaway; without delay勝手かって kitchen戸締とじまり locking up (for the night)書斎しょさい study; den; reading room主人しゅじん masterおれ I; meステッキ stick; cane枕元まくらもと pillow sideしておけ set out; make readyこえ voiceきこえる be heardなんのために for what purpose; to what end枕頭ちんとう bedsideかざる adorn; decorate; garnish (with)わからなかった couldn't comprehend; couldn't grasp易水えきすい壮士そうし Ekisui man-at-arms (legendary assassin of Chinese Warring States period)気取きどって act like; fancy oneself as; pretend to be竜鳴りゅうめい dragon roar (sound unleashed by flashing of a renowned sword)酔狂すいきょう whim; vagary; eccentricityやまいも Japanese yams今日きょう today明日あす tomorrow  evening; nightあさい new; early; youngねずみ mouse; rat大戦たいせん epic battleまえ before; priorと one休養きゅうよう rest; breakようする require; need 引窓ひきまど skylight (opened and closed by pulling a cord)座敷ざしき living room; parlor欄間らんま transomところ place; area; spaceはば width一尺いっしゃく 1 shaku (about 30 cm; about 1 ft)かれて be cut out夏冬なつふゆ summer and winter; year-roundどおし ventilation代理だいり substitute; proxyつとめている serve asもなく ungrudgingly; willingly; freelyる fall; scatter彼岸桜ひがんざくら higan cherry; early-flowering cherryさそうて invite; enticeさっと suddenly; brisklyむ blow in; come stirringかぜ breezeおどろいて be caught by surprise; be alarmed eyesます awaken; rouse from sleep朧月おぼろづき hazy moon (especially on a spring night)いつのに at some point; before one knows itして shineへっつい cooking stove; hearthかげ shadow; shade (of)ななめに obliquely; slantingly揚板あげいた movable floor boardsうえ top of寝過ねすごし sleeping too long二三度にさんど two or three times; several timesみみって twitch one's ears家内かない within the house容子ようす situation; state of affairsうかがう watch; observe柱時計はしらどけい wall clockおと sound時分じぶん time; period 戸棚とだな cupboard; cabinetなか inside; within小皿こざら small dishesふち edge; rimあし feetおさえて hold down; press downわい (emphasis indicator)あな holeよこ beside; next toすくんで crouch downって wait; lie in waitる come out; emerge景色けしき (outward) appearance; indicationさら dishes今度こんど this timeなにか somethingかかった moved on to; began to deal withおもい heavy; dull時々ときどき occasionally; from time to time doorへだてて be separated byむこう other; oppositeがわ sideはなづら muzzle距離きょり distance三寸さんすん 3 sun (about 9 cm; about 4 inches)はなれて be distant; be separated (from)あなくち (hole) opening; outlet足音あしおと sound of feet近寄ちかよる draw near; approachとおのいて move away一匹いっぴき one (critter)一枚いちまい one layer現在げんざい now; at presentてき enemy; foe暴行ぼうこう violation; outrage; riotous actsたくましくして give rein to; escalate出口でぐち exit; outlet随分ずいぶん very much; a great dealながはなし slow business旅順りょじゅんわん Ryojun bowl (play on 旅順りょじゅんわん, or Port Arthur)さかんに energetically; enthusiastically舞踏会ぶとうかい ball; dance; revelryもようして hold; sponsor (an event)這入はいれる can enter; can get intoい good; well; fineかぬ dull-witted; dense山出やまだし bumpkin