I am a Cat (Chapter 6 b) Section 201 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

主人しゅじんなんおもったか、ふいとって書斎しょさいほうったがやがて一枚いちまい半紙はんしっててくる。「東風とうふうくん御作おさく拝見はいけんしたから、今度こんどぼく短文たんぶんんで諸君しょくん批評ひひょうねがおう」といささか本気ほんき沙汰さたである。「天然てんねん居士こじ墓碑銘ぼひめいならもう二三遍にさんべん拝聴はいちょうしたよ」「まあ、だまっていなさい。東風さん、これはけっして得意とくいのものではありませんが、ほんの座興ざきょうですからいてください」「是非ぜひうかがいましょう」「寒月かんげつ君もついでにたま」「ついででなくても聴きますよ。ながものじゃないでしょう」「僅々きんきん六十ろくじゅう余字よじさ」と苦沙弥くしゃみ先生せんせいいよいよ手製てせい名文めいぶんはじめる

大和やまとだましい! とさけんで日本人にほんじん肺病はいびょうやみのようなせきをした」

おこ突兀とっこつですね」と寒月君がほめる。

「大和魂! と新聞屋しんぶんや。大和魂! と掏摸すりが云う。大和魂が一躍いちやくしてうみわたった英国えいこくで大和魂の演説えんぜつをする。独逸ドイツで大和魂の芝居しばいをする」

「なるほどこりゃ天然居士以上いじょうさくだ」と今度は迷亭めいてい先生がそりかえってせる

東郷とうごう大将たいしょうが大和魂をっている。肴屋さかなやぎんさんも大和魂を有っている。詐偽師さぎし山師やまし人殺ひとごろも大和魂を有っている」

「先生そこへ寒月も有っているとつけて下さい」

「大和魂はどんなものかと聞いたら、大和魂さとこたえてぎた五六間ごろっけん行ってからエヘンと云うこえが聞こえた」

「その一句いっく大出来おおできだ。きみはなかなか文才ぶんさいがあるね。それからつぎ句は」

三角さんかくものが大和魂か、四角しかくものが大和魂か。大和魂は名前なまえしめごとくたましいである。魂であるからつねふらふらしている」

「先生だいぶ面白おもしろうございますが、ちと大和魂が多過おおすはしませんか」と東風君が注意ちゅういする。「賛成さんせい」と云ったのは無論むろん迷亭である。

だれくちにせぬものはないが、誰も見たものはない。誰も聞いたことはあるが、誰もった者がない。大和魂はそれ天狗てんぐたぐいか」

Rough translation

The master, as if suddenly remembering something, gets to his feet and heads into his study. A short time later, he emerges with a single sheet of drafting paper in his hand. "We've seen one of your works, Tōfū, so indulge me now as I share a short piece of my own." The master is all business. "If it's your Epitaph to Natural Man then spare me. I've heard it multiple times." "Wait and listen. It's nothing boast-worthy, Tōfū, just some scribblings to pass the time. With that in mind, please give it a listen." "By all means, let's hear it." "Kangetsu, too, if you'll be so good." "I'm happy to listen. I take it it's nothing of any great length." "Just some sixty or so characters." The master, after much ado, begins to read his grand pièce.

'Spirit of Japan!' So cry the men of Japan, straining their lungs to their limit.

"Bold and towering, right from the start." Kangetsu voices his praise.

'Spirit of Japan!' The newspaperman echoes. 'Spirit of Japan!' The petty thief adds his voice. The Spirit of Japan, in one bound, reverberates over the seas. In the lecture halls of England, the Spirit of Japan. On the stages of Germany, the Spirit of Japan.

"This certainly tops your Natural Man." This time it's Meitei who adds his approval, straightening himself on his cushion.

Admiral Tōgō embodies the Spirit of Japan. Gin-san, the fishmonger, embodies the Spirit of Japan. The swindler, the prospector, the murderer all embody the Spirit of Japan.

"Can we add Kangestu to the list too?"

Ask any man what the Spirit of Japan entails. 'The Spirit of Japan is the Spirit of Japan,' he'll answer in passing. Some paces on, you'll hear his scorn as he stops and clears his throat.

"That last line was masterful. You do have a way with words. What's next?"

Is the Spirit of Japan triangular? Is the Spirit of Japan something square? The Spirit of Japan, true to its name, is a spirit. Being a spirit, its form is ever-shifting.

"I love the work, but couldn't you perhaps use 'Spirit of Japan' a little less frequently?" This advice from Tōfū. "Agreed!" Seconded, of course, by Meitei.

No one holds it far from his lips, yet none has ever seen it. All are familiar with it, yet none has gazed on its face. Spirit of Japan, doest thou dwell with the Tengu?

Vocabulary

主人しゅじん masterなん whatおもった thought; figured; reckonedって rise; get up; stand書斎しょさい study; den; reading roomほう directionった went (to)一枚いちまい one (sheet)半紙はんし (standard size) calligraphy paperって hold; carryてくる come out; emerge東風とうふう Tōfū (name)くん (suffix of familiarity for males)御作おさく (your) work拝見はいけんした looked at; reviewed今度こんど this time; nextぼく I; me短文たんぶん short composition; short piece of writingんで read諸君しょくん you; you all批評ひひょう (your) review; commentaryねがおう request; ask for本気ほんき seriousness; earnestness沙汰さた affair; matter天然てんねん居士こじ Natural Man; Genuine Man墓碑銘ぼひめい epitaph; inscription for a tombstone二三遍にさんべん two or three times; several times拝聴はいちょうした heardけっして by (no) means得意とくい boast-worthy; one's best work座興ざきょう amusement; diversionいて listenください please ...是非ぜひ by all meansうかがいましょう let's hear寒月かんげつ Kangetsu (name)たまえ please listenながい long; lengthyもの piece; work僅々きんきん merely; no more than六十ろくじゅう余字よじ sixty or so characters苦沙弥くしゃみ Kushami (the master's name)先生せんせい teacher; professor; scholar手製てせい handwritten名文めいぶん literary masterpieceはじめる begin to read 大和やまとだましい spirit of Yamato; the Japanese spiritさけんで yell; scream; cry (out)日本人にほんじん Japanese (people)肺病はいびょうやみ patient with pulmonary tuberculosisせき cough; coughing おこて opening boldly; starting off with a bang突兀とっこつ lofty; soaring; towering 新聞屋しんぶんや newspapermanう say; state; call out掏摸すり pickpocket一躍いちやくして in one bound; in one leapうみ sea; oceanわたった crossed; traversed英国えいこく England演説えんぜつ speech; address独逸ドイツ Germany芝居しばい play; drama 以上いじょう above; beyondさく composition; work迷亭めいてい Meitei (name)そりかえって throw back one's headせる show; make show of 東郷とうごう大将たいしょう Admiral Tōgō (Tōgō Heihachirō, Imperial Japanese Navy fleet admiral during the Russo-Japanese War)って have; hold; possess肴屋さかなや fish vendor; fishmongerぎん Gin (name)詐偽師さぎし swindler山師やまし speculator; prospector人殺ひとごろし murderer こたえて answer; replyぎた went on past; continued on五六間ごろっけん 5 or 6 ken (about 10 meters; about 30 feet)こえ voice; (vocal) sound 一句いっく one line; one verse大出来おおでき well-done; superbきみ you文才ぶんさい literary talentつぎの next; following 三角さんかくな triangular四角しかくな square名前なまえ nameしめす indicate; demonstrateたましい soul; spiritつねに always; constantlyふらふらして wave; flutter; fluctuate 面白おもしろうございます interesting; intriguing多過おおすぎ too many (times); too frequent注意ちゅういする advise; caution賛成さんせい agree; agreed無論むろん naturally; of course だれも (no) oneくちにせぬ not speak ofもの person; individualこと case; instanceった met; encountered天狗てんぐ tengu (long-nosed goblin; fierce protective deity)たぐい type; sort; ilk