I am a Cat (Chapter 6 b) Section 197 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

「だって興行こうぎょうさえしなければかまわんじゃありませんか。そんなこととやかくったにゃ学校がっこう裸体画らたいが写生しゃせいなんざ出来できっこありません」「しかしあれは稽古けいこのためだから、ただいるのとはすこちがよ」「先生せんせいがたがそんな事を云った日には日本にほんもまだ駄目だめです。絵画かいがだって、演劇えんげきだって、おんなじ芸術げいじゅつです」と寒月かんげつくんおおいに気焔きえん。「まあ議論ぎろんはいいが、それからどうするのだい」と東風とうふう君、ことによると、やる了見りょうけんと見えてすじきたがる。「ところへ花道はなみちから俳人はいじん高浜たかはま虚子きょしステッキってしろ灯心とうしんりの帽子ぼうしかぶって透綾すきや羽織はおりに、薩摩さつま飛白がすり尻端折しりっぱしょ半靴はんぐつと云うこしらえでてくる着付きつ陸軍りくぐん御用達ごようたしたようだけれども俳人だからなるべく悠々ゆうゆうとしてはらなかでは句案くあん余念よねんのないていであるかなくっちゃいけない。それで虚子が花道をっていよいよ本舞台ほんぶたいかかったとき、ふと句案のをあげて前面ぜんめんを見ると、おおきなやなぎがあって、柳のかげしろおんなびている、はっとおもってうえを見るとなが柳のえだからす一羽いちわとまって女の行水ぎょうずい見下みおろしている。そこで虚子先生おおい俳味はいみ感動かんどうしたと云うおも五十ごじゅうびょうばかりあって、行水の女にれる烏かなとおおきなこえ一句いっく朗吟ろうぎんするのを合図あいずに、拍子木ひょうしぎれてまく。――どうだろう、こう云う趣向しゅこうは。御気おきりませんかねきみ御宮おみやになるより虚子になるほうがよほどいいぜ」東風君はなんだか物足ものたらぬと云う顔付かおつきで「あんまり、あっけないようだ。もう少し人情にんじょう加味かみした事件じけんしいようだ」と真面目まじめこたえるいままで比較的ひかくてきおとなしくしていた迷亭めいていはそういつまでもだまっているようなおとこではない。「たったそれだけで俳劇はいげきすさまじいね。上田うえだびん君のせつによると俳味とか滑稽こっけいとか云うものは消極的しょうきょくてき亡国ぼうこくいんだそうだが、敏君だけあってうまい事を云ったよ。そんなつまらないものやって見給みたま。それこそ上田君からわらわれるばかりだ。第一だいいちげきだか茶番ちゃばんだかなんだかあまり消極的でわからないじゃないか。失礼しつれいだが寒月君はやはり実験室じっけんしつたまみがいてる方がいい。俳劇なんぞひゃくつくったって二百にひゃく作ったって、亡国の音じゃ駄目だ」寒月君は少々しょうしょうむっとして、「そんなに消極的でしょうか。わたしはなかなか積極的せっきょくてきなつもりなんですが」どっちでもかまわん事を弁解べんかいしかける

Rough translation

"As long as it's not exhibitionist, the police will be just fine. If they're going to take issue with this, then they'll have to take issue with the sketching of nudes too." "But the sketching of nudes is instructive. Voyeurism is something different." "If that's how our scholars think, then Japan has a long way to go. Theater, just like the visual arts, is a form of artistic expression." Kangetsu is becoming quite animated. "Let's table this argument for now. Tell us what happens next?" Tōfū, not altogether disinclined yet, is eager to hear more. "At this point, the haiku poet Takahama Kyoshi appears and approaches the stage via the gangway, cutting his way through the audience, with walking staff in hand. The hems of his Satsuma-patterned kimono are tucked up, and over his kimono is a half-coat of light silk. On his feet are low-cut boots, and on his head is a white pith helmet. His dress could be taken for army issue, but he's a poet, so he proceeds at a leisurely pace, as though absorbed in composing a verse. When he reaches the main stage, he averts his dreamy gaze. To his astonishment, before his eyes is the large willow, with the fair-skinned beauty bathing beneath its canopy. Further raising his eyes, he sees the lone raven, on the long willow branch, looking down on the bathing beauty. Kyoshi is greatly moved. Poetic ardor swells in his breast, and he pauses at great length for effect. 'Behold the raven, smitten by her beauty as she bathes!' he finally exclaims in a resonating voice. With this single verse as cue, clapping sticks ring out in rapid succession as the curtain closes. -- That's the storyline. What do you think? Does it suit your needs? Forget about the courtier. You're better off playing Kyoshi." Tōfū looks a little unsatisfied. "It's all too fleeting. I need something that connects on the human level," he adds in earnest. Meitei, who until now has been relatively quiet, can no longer hold his tongue. "If that's your poetic vignette, I'm afraid to say it's a sorry one. As the writer Ueda Bin once remarked, poetic ardor and comic farce are but uninspired reverberations of national decline. Bin has a way with words. Just try producing that act. Bin will tear you to shreds. First of all, this is just too uninspired. It's either attempted drama or failed charade. Forgive me for being blunt, but your time is better devoted to polishing spheres in the lab. You could write a hundred such vignettes, or two hundred, only to the detriment of civil society." Kangetsu is somewhat indignant. "Is it really so uninspiring? I'd intended it to be touching." Though the work hardly merits defending, he defends it nonetheless.

Vocabulary

興行こうぎょう show; exhibitionかまわん not mind; not take issue withそんなこと that sort of thingとやかくった complain of; find fault with (in the) day (that) ...学校がっこう school裸体画らたいが nude picture; nude painting写生しゃせい sketching; drawing出来できっこありません won't be able to ...稽古けいこ practice; training; studyて look at; viewすこし a little; a bitちがう different先生せんせいがた teachers; scholars日本にほん Japan駄目だめ no good; beyond help絵画かいが painting; picture演劇えんげき drama; play芸術げいじゅつ art; the arts寒月かんげつ Kangetsu (name)くん (suffix of familiarity for males)おおいに very much; greatly気焔きえんく talk excitedly; become animated議論ぎろん argument; discussion東風とうふう Tōfū (name)了見りょうけん intention; inclinationすじ plot; storylineきたがる want to ask花道はなみち elevated walkway through audience to stage (kabuki)俳人はいじん haiku poet高浜たかはま虚子きょし Takahama Kyoshi (haiku poet mentored by Masaoka Shiki; 1874-1959)ステッキ stick; cane; staffって hold; carryしろい white灯心とうしんりの帽子ぼうし pith helmet; sun helmetかぶって wear on one's head透綾すきや thin silk fabric羽織はおり haori (Japanese half-coat)薩摩さつま飛白がすり Satsuma-patterned (kimono)尻端折しりっぱしょり tucking up the hem of one's garments半靴はんぐつ low-cut bootsてくる come out; make one's appearance着付きつけ dress; costume陸軍りくぐん army御用達ごようたし conducting the business ofたよう looking like; resembling悠々ゆうゆうとして quiet; calm; leisurelyはらなかでは inside; to oneself句案くあん composing lines (of poetry)余念よねんのない totally occupied; fully absorbed (in)てい appearance; condition; stateって reach the end of本舞台ほんぶたい main stageかかった arrived (at)とき time; moment eyes前面ぜんめん forefront; in front of oneおおきな largeやなぎ willow (tree)かげ shadowしろい white; fair (skinned)おんな womanびて bathe oneselfはっとおもって be taken by surprise; be caught breathlessうえ up; aboveながい longえだ branchからす crow; raven一羽いちわ one (bird)行水ぎょうずい bathing in the open air見下みおろして look down on; view from aboveおおいに very much; greatly俳味はいみ poetic ardor感動かんどうした was moved (by); was taken (with)おもれ meditative pose; dramatic pause五十ごじゅうびょう fifty secondsれる fall in love (with); lose one's heart (to)おおきな loud; resounding (voice)こえ voice一句いっく one verse (of poetry)朗吟ろうぎんする recite; incant合図あいず signal; cue拍子木ひょうしぎれて clap wooden sticks in increasingly rapid successionまく curtainく draw; close (a curtain)趣向しゅこう idea; plot; storyline御気おきりませんかね does it meet your liking; what do you thinkきみ you御宮おみや courtierほう alternative (of two choices)なんだか somehow; in some sense物足ものたらぬ unsatisfied顔付かおつき facial expression; lookあっけない brief; abrupt; fleeting人情にんじょう humanity; human emotion加味かみした added to; tempered with事件じけん affair; happeningしい needs; wants真面目まじめに sincerely; in earnestこたえる answer; respondいま now; this point比較的ひかくてき relatively迷亭めいてい Meitei (name)おとこ man; fellow俳劇はいげき poetic vignetteすさまじい dreadful; awful上田うえだびん Ueda Bin (Author and translator of foreign poetry; 1874-1916)せつ opinion; view滑稽こっけい humor; farce消極的しょうきょくてき half-hearted; uninspiring亡国ぼうこく national declineいん sound; reverberation (usually おん)もの thingやって見給みたまえ try doing; give a tryわらわれる be laughed at; be ridiculed第一だいいち first off; for one thingげき drama; play茶番ちゃばん farce; charadeなんだか whateverわからない can't tell; can't say失礼しつれい excuse me; forgive me実験室じっけんしつ laboratory; labたま sphereみがいて polish; grind; millひゃく a hundredつくった made; created; composed二百にひゃく two hundred少々しょうしょう somewhat; to some degreeむっとして offended; put off; indignantわたし I; me積極的せっきょくてき assertive; progressive; movingどっちでもかまわん not mattering one way or the other弁解べんかいしかける work to justify; start to defend