I am a Cat (Chapter 8 b) Section 275 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

夫婦ふうふ君臣くんしん間柄あいだがらそのとお武士ぶし町人ちょうにん区別くべつもその通り、自然しぜんそのもののもその通り。――やまがあって隣国りんごくかれなければ、山をくずかんがえおこかわりに隣国へ行かんでもこまらないと云う工夫くふうをする。山をさなくとも満足まんぞくだと云う心持こころも養成ようせいするのだ。それだからきみ見給みたま禅家ぜんけでも儒家じゅかでもきっと根本的こんぽんてきこの問題もんだいつらまえる。いくら自分じぶんがえらくてもなかはとうていのごとくなるものではない、落日らくじつめぐらすことも、加茂川かもがわさかながこと出来できない。ただ出来るものは自分のこころだけだからね。心さえ自由じゆうにする修業しゅぎょうをしたら、落雲館らくうんかん生徒せいとがいくらさわいで平気へいきものではないか、今戸焼いまどやきたぬきでもかまわんでおられそうなものだ。ぴんすけなんか事を云ったらこの馬鹿ばか野郎やろうとすましておれば仔細しさいなかろうなんでもむか坊主ぼうずひとけられたとき電光でんこう影裏えいり春風しゅんぷうとか、なんとか洒落しゃれた事を云ったと云うはなしだぜ。心の修業がつんで消極しょうきょくきょくたっするとこんな霊活れいかつ作用さようが出来るのじゃないかしらん。ぼくなんか、そんなむずかしい事はわからないが、とにかく西洋人せいようじんふう積極せっきょく主義しゅぎばかりがいいとおものは少々しょうしょうあやまっているようだ。げん君がいくら積極主義にはたらいたって、生徒が君をひやかしにくるのをどうする事も出来ないじゃないか。君の権力けんりょくであの学校がっこう閉鎖へいさするか、または先方せんぽう警察けいさつうったえるだけのわるい事をやれば格別かくべつだが、さもない以上いじょう、どんなに積極的せっきょくてきたったてかってっこないよ。もし積極的に出るとすればかねの問題になる。多勢たぜい無勢ぶぜいの問題になる。換言かんげんすると君が金持かねもちあたまげなければならんと云う事になる。しゅうたの小供こどもおそらなければならんと云う事になる。君のような貧乏人びんぼうにんでしかもたった一人ひとりで積極的に喧嘩けんかをしようと云うのがそもそも君の不平ふへいたねさ。どうだい分ったかい」

主人しゅじんは分ったとも、分らないともわずにいていた珍客ちんきゃくかえったあとで書斎しょさい這入はいって書物しょもつまずになに考えていた。

鈴木すずきとうさんは金と衆とにしたがと主人におしえたのである。甘木あまき先生せんせい催眠術さいみんじゅつ神経しんけいしずめろ助言じょごんしたのである。最後さいご珍客は消極的しょうきょくてき修養しゅうよう安心あんしん説法せっぽうしたのである。主人がいずれをえらかは主人の随意ずいいである。ただこのままではとおされないまっている

Rough translation

"It's the same between husband and wife, or master and servant, or warrior and merchant. Look to the natural world. It's the same again. -- If mountains hinder travel to neighboring lands, then don't scheme schemes to tear them down. Find a way, rather, to carry on in absence of said travel. Cultivate contentment in your own lands, without venturing abroad. This is the crux of the matter. Think about it. The Buddhists and Confucianists, at the fundamental level, grapple with this problem. No man, however accomplished, can bend the world to his will. The setting sun, at his beck and call, will not reverse its course. No more will the waters of the Kamo River, upon his order, flow back whence they came. The most he can hope to command is his own mind. Learn to still your heart, and the students of Rakuunkan, rant and rage though they may, are of no concern. If folks want to shout out 'Imado-ware tanuki,' then let them shout. Should Pinsuke and company assail you with trite remarks, brush them off as the worthless scoundrels they are. A Buddhist priest of long ago, so the story's told, was set upon by a swordsman. 'A flashing sword but slices the springtime breeze,' he recited with full composure. His artful words disarmed his attacker, sparing his neck from the blade. Train the mind, year upon year, to perfect its detachment, and mind-over-matter will surely rule the day. I'm no expert in these things, but to invest one's faith in the West's incessant call to action, it seems, is a bit misguided. Truth be told, no amount of action or effort on your part will keep those students out of your hair. Wouldn't you agree? You don't have the authority to shut down the school, and unless they breach the peace to the point of police intervention, your actions are all for naught. You've no chance of prevailing. And the more you seek to engage, the more resources you'll consume. You're outnumbered and outgunned. In other words, you'll be forced to bow down in financial submission. Hordes of youngsters will put you in your place. You're one man, lacking in means, flailing against the world, and therein lies the seed of your discontent. Think about it. Am I not correct?

The master, neither agreeing nor disagreeing, simply listens. This final odd caller departs, and the master retreats to his study, not to read but to think.

Suzuki had advised the master to yield to wealth and numbers. Dr. Amaki had counseled the master on calming his nerves, suggesting hypnotism as one possible course. This final odd caller had preached detachment and mastery of the mind. The choice was now the master's. One thing was clear. His present tack had run its course.

Vocabulary

夫婦ふうふ husband and wife君臣くんしん ruler and ruled; master and servant間柄あいだがら relationshipそのとおり exactly that; in the same vein武士ぶし warrior; samurai町人ちょうにん townsfolk; merchant class区別くべつ distinction; classification自然しぜん nature; the natural worldそのもの itselfる look at; regard; observeやま mountain隣国りんごく neighboring country; near-by districtかれなければ not able to go (to)くずす destroy; tear down; levelう saying ...; being ...かんがえ idea; thought; notionおこす raise; call up; bring aboutかわりに instead of; rather thanこまらない take no issue; not be concerned工夫くふう idea; plan; interventionさなくとも without crossing over満足まんぞく satisfaction; contentment心持こころもち feeling; disposition; mood養成ようせいする develop; cultivateきみ you (used here as form of address)見給みたまえ take a look; think about禅家ぜんけ Zen priest儒家じゅか Confucianist根本的こんぽんてきに fundamentally; basically問題もんだい question; problem; subjectつらまえる capture; grasp; perceive (= とらえる)自分じぶん oneselfなか the world; societyのごとく according to one's will; as one wishes落日らくじつめぐらす call back the setting sun (from legend surrounding the shōgun Kiyomori)こと act; action加茂川かもがわ Kamogawa (Kamo river; reference to line from Heike Monogatari)さかに in reverseながす cause to flowこと出来できない (one) cannot ...こころ heart; mind; spirit自由じゆうにする release; set free修業しゅぎょう training; practice落雲館らくうんかん Rakuunkan (name of a private middle school)生徒せいと students; pupilsさわいで clamor; make noise; raise a racket平気へいきな cool; collected; calm今戸焼いまどやき Imado unglazed porcelain; Imado wareたぬき tanuki; raccoon dogかまわん not mind; pay no heedぴんすけ Pinsuke (Kaneda crony who works at same middle school as the master)な foolish; silly; stupid馬鹿ばか野郎やろう blasted idiot; worthless scoundrel仔細しさいなかろう problem solved; the end of itなんでも anyhow; at any rateむかし long ago; in former times坊主ぼうず Buddhist priestひと other person; anotherけられた was set upon with a swordとき time; moment電光でんこう影裏えいり春風しゅんぷうる the flash of a sword slicing the spring breezeとか、なんとか or something like that; or to that effect洒落しゃれた artful; astute; shrewdはなし story; talk of消極しょうきょく passivity; detachmentきょく extremity; height (of)たっする reach; achieve霊活れいかつな spiritually vitalized作用さよう action; effectぼく I; meわからない am not versed in; cannot grasp西洋人せいようじん Westernerふう manner; tendency積極せっきょく主義しゅぎ principle of (proactive) engagementおもう think; consider; believe少々しょうしょう somewhat; to some degreeあやまっている is in the wrong; is misguidedげんに actually; in factはたらいたって work; labor (at)権力けんりょく power; influence; authority学校がっこう school閉鎖へいさする close; shut down先方せんぽう the other side; the other party警察けいさつ policeうったえる lodge a complaint格別かくべつ special; different; an exceptionさもない以上いじょうは barring that; otherwise積極的せっきょくてきに positively; proactivelyたったて come out; engageかってっこない won't win; can't winかね money; funds多勢たぜい the force of numbers; numerical superiority無勢ぶぜい woefully shorthanded; outnumbered (forces)換言かんげんすると in other words; put another way金持かねもち men of wealth; men of meansあたまげなければならん have to bow one's head (in deference to); have to yield (to)しゅう greater numbers (of people); numerical superiorityたのむ engage; employ; call into service小供こども children (usually 子供こども)おそらなければならん be duly humbled; be put in one's place貧乏人びんぼうにん man of meager means; pauper一人ひとり one person; a single person喧嘩けんか quarrel; fight; confrontation不平ふへい discontent; dissatisfactionたね seed; source 主人しゅじん masterわずに without sayingいていた listened珍客ちんきゃく unexpected visitor; unusual callerかえった took one's leave; departed書斎しょさい study; den; reading room這入はいって enter; go into書物しょもつ bookまずに without readingなにか something; something or other 鈴木すずき Suzuki (name)とう Tō (name; short for 藤十郎とうじゅうろう)したがえ yield; submit (to)おしえた instructed; advised甘木あまき先生せんせい Dr. Amaki (the master's physician)催眠術さいみんじゅつ hypnotism神経しんけい nervesしずめろ bring down; calm助言じょごんした counseled最後さいごの final; last消極的しょうきょくてき passivity; submissiveness修養しゅうよう (mental) training; self-discipline; cultivation安心あんしん relief; comfort; peace of mindろ seek; secure; gain説法せっぽうした lectured; preachedえらぶ choose; select随意ずいい free choice; own willとおされない cannot continue (with); cannot persist (in)まっている it's evident that ...