I am a Cat (Chapter 8 b) Section 254 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

まずはち陣立じんだから説明せつめいする。こんな戦争せんそうに陣立てなにあるものかとのは間違まちがっている。普通ふつうひとは戦争とさえ云えば沙河しゃかとか奉天ほうてんとかまた旅順りょじゅんとかそのほかに戦争はないもののごとくにかんがえている。すこがかった野蛮人やばんじんになると、アキリスヘクトー死骸しがいきずってトロイ城壁じょうへき三匝さんそうしたとか、えんぴと張飛ちょうひ長坂橋ちょうはんきょう丈八じょうはち蛇矛だぼうよこたえて曹操そうそうぐん百万人ひゃくまんにんにらかえしたとか大袈裟おおげさことばかり連想れんそうする。連想は当人とうにん随意ずいいだがそれ以外いがいの戦争はないものと心得こころえのは不都合ふつごうだ。太古たいこ蒙昧もうまい時代じだいってこそ、そんな馬鹿気ばかげ戦争もおこなわれたかもれん、しかし太平たいへい今日こんにち大日本国だいにっぽんこく帝都ていと中心ちゅうしんにおいてかくのごとき野蛮的やばんてき行動こうどうありべからざる奇蹟きせきぞくしている。いかに騒動そうどうがって交番こうばん焼打やきうち以上いじょう気遣きづかいはない。してると臥竜窟がりょうくつ主人しゅじん苦沙弥くしゃみ先生せんせい落雲館らくうんかん八百はっぴゃく健児けんじとの戦争は、まず東京市とうきょうしあって以来いらい大戦争だいせんそうひとつとしてかぞえてしかるべきものだ。左氏さし鄢陵えんりょうたたかいするあたってもまずてき陣勢じんせいからべている。古来こらいから叙述じょじゅつたくみなるものはみんなこの筆法りっぽうもちいるのが通則つうそくになっている。だによって吾輩わがはいが蜂の陣立てをはなのも仔細しさいなかろう。それでまず蜂の陣立ていかんと見てあると、よっがき外側そとがわ縦列じゅうれつかたちづくった一隊いったいがある。これは主人を戦闘線内せんとうせんない誘致ゆうちする職務しょくむびたものと見える。「降参こうさんしねえか」「しねえしねえ」「駄目だめだ駄目だ」「てこねえ」「ちねえかな」「落ちねえはずはねえ」「えて見ろ」「わんわん」「わんわん」「わんわんわんわん」これからさき縦隊じゅうたいそうがかりとなって吶喊とっかんこえげる。縦隊を少しみぎはなれて運動場うんどうば方面ほうめんには砲隊ほうたい形勝けいしょうめて陣地じんちいている。臥竜窟にめんして一人ひとり将官しょうかん擂粉木すりこぎおおきなやつってひかえる。これと相対そうたいして五六間ごろっけん間隔かんかくをとってまた一人、擂粉木のあとにまた一人、これは臥竜窟にかおをむけてっている。

Rough translation

I'll start by describing the bees' battle formation. Some may question my use of the term "battle formation" with respect to this conflict, so let me address such doubt first off. Most folks, when they hear the word "battle," think of Shaka, Hōten, Ryojun, or other such pivotal sites where Japan confronted the Russian Empire's armies. Those schooled in Western verse might imagine Achilles dragging Hector's copse round the walls of Troy. Others, again in grandiose fashion, may call to mind Zhang Fei of Yan, planted on Chōhan Bridge with his long serpentine lance, defying the advance of Cao Cao's hordes. To each his own when it comes to visions of battle, but one mustn't overly restrictive. Our unenlightened past may be punctuated with profligate wars, but in this present day, secure in the middle of Greater Japan's imperial capital, such savage acts are utterly out of the question. Should trouble arise, a few police box burnings, as witnessed in Hibiya, is about as far as it goes. That being the case, this battle taking shape between master Kushami of Garyōkutsu and some eight hundred stalwart youths of Rakuunkan has to number among the epic battles that the city of Tōkyō has witnessed since its founding. The Zuozhang, in recording the Battle of Yiling, begins with a sizing up of respective forces. From times of old, any and all skilled narratives adopt this same approach. Such being the case, the reader should find no objection to my leading off with the bees' battle formation. First to note is that one company of bees formed a column just outside of the lattice fence. Their duty, it seemed, was to mark off a battle line and goad the master on to engage them. "Does he know he's lost?" "Not yet. Not yet." "We've got him. He can't win." "Where is he?" "Does he know what's he up against?" "How could he not know?" "Let's make some noise." "Wan! Wan!" "Wan! Wan!" "Wan! Wan! Wan! Wan!" This was followed by a great battle cry from the full company. A bit to the right of this company, and further into the grounds, a gunnery crew had taken up strategic position. Their general, armed with a giant pestle, was turned toward Garyōkutsu and stood ready to fire. Another stood off at ten or so meters' distance, facing the first. There was one more, in back of the one with the pestle, crouched in place, also facing Garyōkutsu.

Vocabulary

はち bees陣立じんだて battle formation説明せつめいする describe戦争せんそう war; battle; conflictなにも and the likeう question; express doubt間違まちがって be in error普通ふつうの ordinairy; commonひと person; man沙河しゃか Shaka or Shaho (Ruso-Japanese War battle site near Liaoyang)奉天ほうてん Hōten (Shenyang)旅順りょじゅん Ryojun (aka Port Arthur or Lüshun)かんがえて consider; thinkすこし a little; a bitがかった celebrated in verse野蛮人やばんじん barbarians; savagesアキリス Achilles (Greek hero of the Trojan War)ヘクトー Hector (a Trojan prince)死骸しがい dead body; corpseきずって pull; dragトロイ Troy城壁じょうへき rampart; castle walls三匝さんそう three roundsえんぴと man of Yan (ancient Chinese state; now Beijing area)張飛ちょうひ Zhang Fei (a.k.a. Zhang Yide)長坂橋ちょうはんきょう Chōhan Bridge (site of Battle of Changban)丈八じょうはち 1 jō and 8 shaku (about 5 meters; about 6 yards)蛇矛だぼう serpentine lanceよこたえて hold at one's side曹操そうそう Cao Cao (central figure in China's Three Kingdoms period)ぐん army; troops百万人ひゃくまんにん a million menにらかえした glared back at大袈裟おおげさな grandioseこと acts; happenings連想れんそうする call to mind当人とうにん the person in question随意ずいい free choice; own will以外いがい other than; apart from心得こころえる regard; understand; take (as)不都合ふつごう troublesome; problematic; in the wrong太古たいこ蒙昧もうまい ancient and unenlightened時代じだい age; timesってこそ by being part of; by living in馬鹿気ばかげた foolish; idiotic; senselessおこなわれた was carried out; took placeかもれん it may be that ...太平たいへい peace; calm今日こんにち now; this present day大日本国だいにっぽんこく Greater Japan帝都ていと imperial capital中心ちゅうしん middle; center野蛮的やばんてき savage; barbaric; uncivilized行動こうどう action; conductありべからざる cannot be; is too improbable奇蹟きせき wonder; marvel; sightぞくして belong to; number among騒動そうどう dispute; disturbanceがって arise; occur交番こうばん焼打やきうち police box burning (reference to Hibiya Incendiary Incident of Sep 1905)以上いじょうに above; more thanる appear; emerge気遣きづかい fear; concernしてると in which case ...臥竜窟がりょうくつ Garyōkutsu (name; lit: lair of the sleeping dragon)主人しゅじん master苦沙弥くしゃみ Kushami (the master's name)先生せんせい teacher; professor; scholar落雲館らくうんかん Rakuunkan (name of a private middle school) back side; out back八百はっぴゃく eight hundred健児けんじ stalwart youths東京市とうきょうし City of Tōkyō以来いらい since大戦争だいせんそう great war; epic battleひとつ one (among others)かぞえて count; numberしかるべき appropriate; proper; suitable左氏さし Zuozhuan (ancient Chinese narrative history)鄢陵えんりょうたたかい Battle of Yiling (fought between the Sun Quan and Cao Cao in 208)する record (in writing)あたっても when it comes to ...てき adversaries; foes陣勢じんせい strategic positioning (for battle)べて state; relate古来こらい of old; in times past叙述じょじゅつ description; depiction; narrativeたくみなる is skilled; is expert (in)みんな one and all; everyone筆法りっぽう style of writingもちいる use; apply通則つうそく general rule; customary practice吾輩わがはい I; me; myselfはなす talk of; describe仔細しさい hindrance; impediment; drawbackよっがき bamboo lattice fence外側そとがわ outside; other side縦列じゅうれつ column; fileかたちづくった drew up; formed一隊いったい company; party; squad戦闘線内せんとうせんない within the battle lines誘致ゆうちする attract; lure; invite職務しょくむ duty; task; assignmentびた took on; were assignedもの persons降参こうさん surrender; submission駄目だめ no good; of no useてこねえ won't come outちねえ not understand; not get itえて howl; bellowこれからさきは from this point; from here縦隊じゅうたい (military) columnそうがかり all hands吶喊とっかんこえ battle cryげる raise upみぎ right (side)はなれて separated; set apart運動場うんどうば athletic grounds; sports field方面ほうめん area; region砲隊ほうたい gunnery crew; artillery squad形勝けいしょう advantageous position; strategic location ground; earth; landめて occupy陣地じんち (military) encampmentいて take up (a position)めんして turn toward; face一人ひとり one (person)将官しょうかん general; admiral擂粉木すりこぎ pestleおおきな largeやつ thing; oneって hold; graspひかえる be prepared; be waiting for相対そうたいして be relative to五六間ごろっけん 5 or 6 ken (about 10 meters; about 12 yards)間隔かんかく spacing; intervalつ be standingかお faceって stand in place