I am a Cat (Chapter 10 a) Section 312 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana



Rough translation


"You'd best get up. It's seven already." The wife calls out from the other side of the fusuma. The master, whether awake or still sleeping, has his back to her and produces no sound. To produce no sound is the master's trademark. If absolutely compelled, the most he might manage is a short "um." Even eliciting this short "um" is no easy feat. There's a certain refinement in a man who guards his words, but among the lady folk such men are seldom endeared. Given that even the master's wife struggles to tolerate him, it's no great leap to suppose that the rest of womankind should wholly disdain him. A question posed in song asks, "Shunned by his own folk, what muse should ever adore him?" and so it goes with the master, whose wife just barely abides him and whom other women find patently unappealing. There's no particular need here to deliberately dwell on the master's lack of appeal to the opposite sex. I only mention it for the sake of the master himself, lest he delude himself and attribute the wife's cold shoulder to the different stars under which they were born.


じゅう (chapter) 10 七時しちじ seven (o'clock)襖越ふすまごしに through the fusuma (sliding screen)細君さいくん the wifeこえけた called out主人しゅじん masterがさめている be awakeている be asleepむこうむき facing the other way; turned away返事へんじ reply; responseおとこ man; fellowくせ habit; mannerなんとか somehow; in some mannerくちらなければならない have to say somethingとき time; occasion容易よういな simple; easyこと instance; caseてこない not appear; not emerge人間にんげん human being; person; manうるさくなる become tiresome無精ぶしょう indolent; lackadaisicalおもむき charm; elegance; refinementひと people; menかぎって limited to; in particularおんな women; femalesかれた be liked; be favoredためし instance; case; example現在げんざい at presentう is married to珍重ちんちょうしておらん doesn't hold dearその othersしてるべし by inferenceっても even concluding ...たいした (any) considerable; significant間違まちがい mistake; error親兄弟おやきょうだい parents and siblings; one's own family見離みはなされ be abandoned; be rejectedあかの他人たにん complete stranger傾城けいせい beauty; siren可愛かわいがらりょう receive affection (stylized expression from Edo-period song)とある以上いじょうは given that ...てない is not well liked世間せけん一般いっぱんの general; common淑女しゅくじょ ladiesる be pleased with; take a liking toなにも (no)thing; (not) at all異性間いせいかん with regard to the opposite sex不人望ふじんぼうな lacking in appealこのさい on this occasion; at this opportunityことさらに deliberately; especially暴露ばくろする expose; reveal必要ひつよう necessity; need本人ほんにん the person in question; the person himself存外ぞんがいな unexpected; contrary to expectationかんがちがい mistaken notion; wrong impressionまったく utterly; entirely年廻としまわり age relationship; position in Chinese zodiac cycle理窟りくつ (unreasonable) argument; strained logicまよい delusionたね seed; source自覚じかく self-awareness一助いちじょ help; aid親切心しんせつしん kindness (of one's heart)もうえる add; append (words or remarks)