I am a Cat (Chapter 8 b) Section 273 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

不平ふへいもいいさ。不平がおこったら起してしまえば当分とうぶんはいい心持こころもになれる。人間にんげんはいろいろだから、そう自分じぶんのようにひとにもなれとすすめたって、なれるものではない。はしは人とおなようにたんめしいにくいが、自分の麺麭パンは自分の勝手かってのが一番いちばん都合つごうがいいようだ。上手じょうず仕立屋したてや着物きものをこしらえれば、たてから、からだにったのをってくるが、下手へた裁縫屋したてやあつらえたら当分は我慢がまんしないと駄目だめさ。しかしなかはうまくしたもので、着ているうちには洋服ようふくほうで、こちらの骨格こっかくに合わしてくれるから。いまに合うように上等じょうとう両親りょうしん手際てぎわよくんでくれれば、それが幸福こうふくなのさ。しかし出来損できそこなったら世の中に合わないで我慢するか、または世の中で合わせるまで辛抱しんぼうするよりほかにみちはなかろう」

「しかしぼくなんか、いつまでっても合いそうにないぜ、心細こころぼそね」

「あまり合わない背広せびろ無理むりきるとほころびる喧嘩けんかをしたり自殺じさつをしたり騒動そうどうが起るんだね。しかしきみなんかただ面白おもしろくないだけで自殺は無論むろんしやせず、喧嘩だってやったことはあるまい。まあまあいい方だよ」

「ところが毎日まいにち喧嘩ばかりしているさ。相手あいてなくっておこっておれば喧嘩だろう」

「なるほど一人ひとり喧嘩げんかだ。面白いや、いくらでもやるがいい」

「それがいやになった」

「そんならよすさ」

きみまえだが自分のこころがそんなに自由じゆうになるものじゃない」

「まあ全体ぜんたいなにがそんなに不平なんだい」

主人しゅじんはここにおいて落雲館らくうんかん事件じけんはじとして、今戸焼いまどやきたぬきから、ぴんすけきしゃごそのほかあらゆる不平をげて滔々とうとう哲学者てつがくしゃの前にならてた。哲学者先生せんせいはだまっていていたが、ようやくくちひらいて、かように主人にした

Rough translation

"Then take on the world. If you want to fight, fight. It feels good sometimes. Just keep in mind that people come in all types, and try as you might you'll never bend them all to your will. Get creative with chopsticks, and you'll only find it harder to eat, but when it comes to slicing bread, each to his own is best. Go to a top tailor, and he'll bring you a suit that fits to a T from the first wearing. Order from a second-rate shop, on the other hand, and you'll have to wear it in. The world is a wondrous place, though, and the longer you wear a suit the better it matches your frame. Happy is the child of masterful parents who bear him just right and deftly raise him in line with the times. When such is not the case, however, one perseveres. What can one do but shoulder the world and wear it in?"

"This world, I'm afraid, will never suit me. I've no hope."

"Force yourself into an ill-made suit, and you'll tear it apart at its seams. That means quarrels, strife, and even suicide. You voice your discontent, but you'll not suicidal, of course, and when was the last time you quarrelled? Things really aren't so bad."

"But I do quarrel. Constantly. If not in open conflict and face to face, then seething and fuming inside. That, too, constitues a quarrel."

"I see. Raging against the world. If it suits your mood, then rage away."

"But I hate it."

"Then stop."

"I'll confide in you. My emotions have taken the upper hand. I've lost control."

"What on earth is it, then, that's riling you so?"

Thus prompted, the master pours forth his grievances. Starting with the Rakuunkan altercation, then Imado-ware tanuki call-outs, then Pinski and Kishago. The list goes on. The philosopher listens patiently. When he finally speaks, he advises the master as follows.

Vocabulary

不平ふへい complaints; grievancesおこったら arise; come about当分とうぶん for a while; for some time心持こころもち feeling; sensation人間にんげん human beings; people; men自分じぶん oneselfひと people; othersすすめたって advise; encourage; suggestはし chopsticksおなじ the sameたん not holdめし meal; foodいにくい hard to eat麺麭パン bread勝手かってに as one likes; as one pleasesる cut一番いちばん foremost; most of all都合つごう circumstance; situation上手じょうずな skilled; proficient; competent仕立屋したてや tailor着物きもの clothingたて newly-donnedった suited (to); fitting (with)ってくる bring; provide; deliver下手へたの unpracticed; inept; incompetent裁縫屋したてや tailorあつらえたら place an order (with)我慢がまんしないと駄目だめ have to put up with; have to persevereなか the world洋服ようふく Western-style clothes; a suit of clothingほう alternative (of two choices)骨格こっかく bone structure; build; frameいま now; the present world; society上等じょうとうな superior; first-rate両親りょうしん parents手際てぎわよく adroitly; deftly; expertlyんでくれれば give birth to; produce; bring into the world幸福こうふくなの happy; fortunate (situation)出来損できそこなったら is wrongly formed; is poorly fashioned辛抱しんぼうする endure; persevereみち way; path ぼく I; meいつまでっても no matter how much time passes心細こころぼそい discouraging; disheartening 背広せびろ business suit無理むりに forciblyほころびる come apart at the seams; be ripped; be torn喧嘩けんかをしたり quarrel; brawl; squabble自殺じさつをしたり kill oneself; take one's own life騒動そうどう strife; turmoilきみ you面白おもしろくない uninteresting; uninspiring; dullう say; state無論むろん of course; without sayingこと case; instance 毎日まいにち every day; each day相手あいて the other partyなくって not come out; not appearおこって bristle; seethe; fume 一人ひとり喧嘩げんか confrontation in absentia きみまえだが I can say this to youこころ heart; mind; spirit自由じゆう free; at liberty 全体ぜんたい after all; in the endなに what 主人しゅじん master落雲館らくうんかん Rakuunkan (name of a private middle school)事件じけん incident; affair; altercationはじめ beginning; start今戸焼いまどやき Imado unglazed porcelain; Imado wareたぬき tanuki; raccoon dogぴんすけ Pinsuke (Kaneda crony who works at same middle school as the master)きしゃご Kishago (Kaneda crony who works at same middle school as the master)げて raise; give; cite滔々とうとうと in an outpouring哲学者てつがくしゃ philosopherならてた laid forth; related in detail先生せんせい teacher; professor; scholarいて listen; hearくちひらいて open one's mouth; speakした set to explaining; started in to expound