I am a Cat (Chapter 10 a) Section 320 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

このとき主人しゅじんは、昨日きのう紹介しょうかいした混沌こんとんたる太古たいこ精一杯せいいっぱい見張みはってむこ戸棚とだなをきっと。これはたか一間いっけんよこ仕切しきって上下じょうげともおのおの二枚にまい袋戸ふくろどをはめたものである。したほうの戸棚は、布団ふとんすそとすれすれの距離きょりにあるから、なおった主人が眼をあきさえすれば、天然てんねん自然しぜんここに視線しせんがむくように出来できている。見ると模様もよういたかみがところどころやぶれてみょうはらわたあからさまに見える。腸にはいろいろなのがある。あるものは活版摺かっぱんずりで、あるものは肉筆にくひつである。あるものは裏返うらがえで、あるものはさかさまである。主人はこの腸を見る同時どうじなにがかいてあるかみたくなったいままでは車屋くるまやのかみさんでもつらまえてはなづらまつへこすりつけてやろうくらいにまでおこっていた主人が、突然とつぜんこの反古紙ほごがみを読んで見たくなるのは不思議ふしぎのようであるが、こう陽性ようせい癇癪かんしゃくにはめずらしくないことだ。小供こどもときに最中もなかひともあてがえばすぐわら一般いっぱんである。主人がむかところ御寺おてら下宿げしゅくしていた時、ふすまへだててあま五六ごろくにんいた。尼などと云うものは元来がんらい意地いじのわるいおんなのうちでもっとも意地のわるいものであるが、この尼が主人の性質せいしつ見抜みぬいたものと見えて自炊じすいなべをたたきながら、今泣いたからすがもう笑った、今泣いた烏がもう笑ったと拍子ひょうしってうたったそうだ、主人が尼が大嫌だいきらいになったのはこの時からだと云うが、尼はきらいにせよまったそれちがいない。主人は泣いたり、笑ったり、うれしがったりかなしがったり人一倍ひといちばいもするかわりにいずれもながつづいた事がない。よく云えば執着しゅうじゃくがなくて、心機しんきがむやみにてんずるのだろうが、これを俗語ぞくご翻訳ほんやくしてやさしく云えば奥行おくゆきのない、うすぺらの、はなぱりだけつよだだっである。すでにだだっ子である以上いじょう喧嘩けんかをするいきおいで、むっくときた主人がきゅうをかえて袋戸の腸を読みにかかるのももっともと云わねばなるまい。第一だいいち眼にとまったのが伊藤いとう博文はくぶんである。うえを見ると明治めいじ十一じゅういちねん九月くがつ廿八にじゅうはちにちとある。韓国かんこく統監とうかんもこの時代じだいから御布令おふれ尻尾しっぽけてあるいていたと見える。

Rough translation

At this moment, the master's dull and hazy eyes, which I described in detail the day prior, fix their stare on the cabinet cross the room. The height of this cabinet is about one meter, and it's partitioned horizontally into top and bottom shelves, each with two papered sliding doors. The bottom shelf all but touches the corner of his bedding, so it's only natural that the master's line of sight, as he sits himself up and opens his eyes, should land here. The patterned paper of the sliding doors is torn in places, revealing curious designs in the paper batting that backs it up. Some of these batting papers are printed matter. Others are hand-scribed. Some are face down and some are upside down. As the master surveys this batting, curiosity gets the better of him, and he finds himself wanting to know what's written on these various fragments. It may seem odd that the same master, who just moments ago was angry enough to seize the cartman's wife, push her mug into a pine tree, and use it to scrape the rough bark smooth, is suddenly fixated on reading paper scraps, but such is the nature of sparky hotheads. It's no different than a crying child pacified by a sweet. In former times, when the master lodged in a certain Buddhist temple, a handful of nuns occupied the adjoining room. When it comes to vile women, nuns are as vile as they come, and these vile nuns read the master like a book. While cooking their food, they were known to tap their kettle and sing to the beat. "The crow that cried's now smiling wide, the crow that cried's now smiling wide." The master to this day harbors an intense dislike of nuns, but be that as it may, the nuns were not off base. While the master is highly animated, crying, laughing, swaggering, or sulking in the extreme, none of these moods ever lasts for long. Seen in a positive light, he doesn't fixate on or obsess over things, and his outlook on life is constantly refreshing itself. In simpler, more vulgar terms, though, he's a shallow, wavering, and highly cantankerous brat-child. Given his brat-child nature, it should be no suprise when his hankering for a quarrel, once he's roused himself to his senses, might abruptly fall away and yield instead to intense interest in deciphering the writings on old paper batting in a cabinet door. The first to paper to hit his eye is an upside-down image of Itō Hirobumi. At it's top is inscribed, "September 28, Meiji 11." The Korean Resident-General, it seems, from these earlier days was already chasing his own edict-adorned tail.

Vocabulary

とき time; moment主人しゅじん master昨日きのう yesterday; the day prior紹介しょうかいした introduced; referred to混沌こんとんたる (are) disordered; disarrayed太古たいこ primeval; primative eyes精一杯せいいっぱい the best one can do; one's best effort見張みはって keep watch; observe keenlyむこう beyond; the other side戸棚とだな cupboard; cabinetた looked at; viewedたかさ height一間いっけん 1 ken (about 1.8 meters; about 6 feet)よこ sideways仕切しきって divide; partition上下じょうげとも both top and bottom (sections)おのおの each one (usually 各々おのおの)二枚にまい two (sheets)袋戸ふくろど paper sliding doorした bottomほう alternative (of two choices)布団ふとん futon; beddingすそ bottom part; bottom edge距離きょり degree of separation; distanceなおった sat up天然てんねん自然しぜん naturally; as matter of course視線しせん line of sight出来できている is formed; is positioned模様もよういた patternedかみ paperやぶれて be ripped; be tornみょうな odd; curiousはらわた (paper) battingあからさまに plainly; clearly活版摺かっぱんずり printing; type set肉筆にくひつ hand-scribed裏返うらがえし flipped around; reversedさかさま upside down; inverted同時どうじに at the same time asなに whatみたくなった felt a desire to readいま now; the present車屋くるまや cartmanつらまえて capture; seize; catch hold ofはなづら muzzle; snoutまつ pine treeおこっていた was incensed; was worked up突然とつぜん suddenly; abruptly反古紙ほごがみ wastepaper; scrap paper不思議ふしぎ strange; curious; puzzlingこうう this kind of ...; such a ...陽性ようせい positive disposition癇癪かんしゃくち hothead; loose cannonめずらしくない not unusualこと case; circumstance小供こども child (usually 子供こども)く cry; bawl最中もなか wafer cake filled with bean jamひとつ one (thing)わらう laugh; smile一般いっぱん the same as; no different fromむかし long ago; in days pastところ a certain place御寺おてら (Buddhist) temple下宿げしゅくしていた was staying; was lodgingふすま fusuma (sliding screen) one layerへだてて separated (by)あま (Buddhist) nun五六ごろくにん five or six (people)元来がんらい fundamentally; ny nature意地いじのわるい malicious; nasty; vitriolicおんな female; woman性質せいしつ nature; disposition見抜みぬいた saw through; read like a book自炊じすい (one's own) cookingなべ kettleからす crow拍子ひょうしって to a beat; in rhythmうたった sang大嫌だいきらい of strong dislike towardきらい offputting; offensiveまったく utterly; entirelyちがいない without doubt ...; clearly ...うれしがったり be elated; get giddyかなしがったり grow sad; wallow in melancholy人一倍ひといちばい more than others; exceedinglyかわりに while ...ながく for longつづいた continued; lasted執着しゅうじゃく fixation; obsession心機しんき state of mind; attitudeてんずる turn; shift俗語ぞくご common language翻訳ほんやくして translate (into)奥行おくゆき depthうすぺら flimsy; shallowはなぱり combative spiritつよい intense; tenaciousだだっ spoiled child以上いじょうは given that ...喧嘩けんか quarrel; fight; confrontationいきおい energy; impetus; vigorむっくと abruptlyきた jumped up; sprang upきゅうに suddenly; at onceをかえて change one's perspective第一だいいちに first of all; for starters伊藤いとう博文はくぶん Itō Hakubun; (or Itō Hirobumi; Meiji era statesman)ち headstand; inversionうえ top; above明治めいじ十一じゅういちねん Meiji 11 (1878)九月くがつ September廿八にじゅうはちにち 28th (day of the month)韓国かんこく統監とうかん Resident-General of Korea時代じだい age; period御布令おふれ official edict尻尾しっぽ tailけて chase after