I am a Cat (Chapter 10 a) Section 322 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

このあくびがまたくじら遠吠とおぼえのようにすこぶる変調へんちょうきわめたものであったが、それが一段落いちだんらくげると、主人しゅじんはのそのそと着物きものをきかえてかおあらいに風呂場ふろば出掛でかけてったちかねた細君さいくんはいきなり布団ふとんをまくって夜着よぎたたんでれいとお掃除そうじをはじめる。掃除が例の通りであるごとく、主人の顔のあらかた十年じゅうねん一日いちじつのごとく例の通りである。先日せんじつ紹介しょうかいをしたごとく依然いぜんとしてがーがー、げーげーを持続じぞくしている。やがてあたまおわって西洋せいよう手拭てぬぐいかたへかけて、ちゃ出御しゅつぎょになると、超然ちょうぜんとして長火鉢ながひばちよこめた。長火鉢うとけやき如輪木じょりんもくか、あか総落そうおとで、洗髪あらいがみ姉御あねご立膝たてひざで、なが煙管ぎせる黒柿くろがきふちたたきつけるよう想見そうけんする諸君しょくんないともかぎらないが、わが苦沙弥くしゃみ先生せんせいの長火鉢いたってはけっして、そんな意気いきものではない、なんつくったものか素人しろうとには見当けんとうのつかんくらい古雅こがものである。長火鉢はんでてらてらひかところが身上しんしょうなのだが、この代物しろものは欅かさくらきり元来がんらい不明瞭ふめいりょううえ、ほとんど布巾ふきんをかけたことがないのだから陰気いんきたざるおびただしい。こんなものをどこからってかと云うと、決して買ったおぼえはない。そんならもらったかとと、だれくれたひとはないそうだ。しからばぬすんだのかとただしてと、何だかそのへん曖昧あいまいである。むか親類しんるい隠居いんきょがおって、その隠居がんだとき当分とうぶん留守るすばんたのまれた事がある。ところがその一戸いっこかまえて隠居いんきょじょはらさいに、そこで自分じぶんのもののように使つかっていた火鉢をなんもなく、ついってしまったのだそうだ。少々しょうしょうたちがわるようだ。かんがえるとたちが悪いようだがこんな事は世間せけん往々おうおうある事だとおも銀行家ぎんこうかなどは毎日まいにち人のかねをあつかいつけているうちに人の金が、自分の金のように見えてくるそうだ。役人やくにん人民じんみん召使めしつかいである。用事ようじべんじさせるために、ある権限けんげん委托いたくした代理人だいりにんのようなものだ。ところが委任いにんされた権力けんりょくかさ毎日事務じむ処理しょりしていると、これは自分が所有しょゆうしている権力で、人民などはこれについて何らのくちばしるる理由りゆうがないものだなどとくるってくる。こんな人がなか充満じゅうまんしている以上は長火鉢事件じけんをもって主人に泥棒どろぼう根性こんじょうがあると断定だんていするわけにはかぬ。もし主人に泥棒根性があるとすれば、天下てんがの人にはみんな泥棒根性がある。

Rough translation

The master's yawn, like the cry of a whale, is characterized by waves of intricate undulations. As it finally subsides, he slowly changes out of his bed clothes and heads off to the washroom to wash his face. The wife, who's been waiting in the wings, promptly folds up the bedding and bed clothes and sets into her cleaning routine. Just as the wife cleans per routine, the master washes his face per his own long-established routine. As I've previously described, his usual sounds of "ge-ge" and "ga-ga" echo from the washroom. After carfully parting his hair, he enters the living room in grand fashion, his Western-style hand towel draped over his shoulder, and casually takes his place by the long side of the brazier. At the mention of a long-sided brazier, some may imagine marbled zelkova wood, with inlaid copper lining, and a yound maiden seated thereby with freshly washed hair and one knee drawn up, tapping a long-necked pipe against the black-persimmon edging. In the case of our dear Kushami, though, the long-sided brazier is by no means anything so stylish. It's antiquated to the point that no layman could possibly discern what it's made of. The great merit of a long-sided brazier is the sheen it aquires through years of polishing, but in the case of this particular article, that's seldom seen a cleaning cloth and is greatly the worse for wear, it's entirely unclear what it's dark shadows hide, be it zelkova, cherry, or paulownia. When asked where it was procured, the master and his wife have no recollection of procuring it anywhere. In which case someone gifted it to them, yet they can identify no such giver. Such being the case, one has to ask if it's pilfered, and the answer here is none too clear. Long ago, among their relations, was an old retired couple. The couple passed away, and the master and his wife were asked to hold down the property. Then, as it's told, when it came time to move out and establish their own household, this brazier, which they'd been using as their own, just naturally came with. The whole thing seems a bit underhanded. At the same time, while a bit underhanded, it's not at all out of the ordinary. Take the banker, for example, who handles others' money every day. Over time, they say, he comes to regard this money as his own. Then there are government officials, servants of the citizenry entrusted with authority for handling affairs on behalf of those they represent. However, as they carry out business, day after day, wearing this mantle of borrowed authority, they're apt to lose their bearings, imagining their authority is their own and consigning the citizenry to irrelevance. Given the prevalence of such cases, it would hardly be proper to fault the master for sticky fingers. If the master is at fault for sticky fingers, then so too is the bulk of humanity.

Vocabulary

くじら whale遠吠とおぼえ howl変調へんちょう tonal variation; modulationきわめた carried to extremesもの thing一段落いちだんらく reaching a stopping placeげる indicate; signal; mark主人しゅじん master着物きもの clothesかお faceあらいに to wash風呂場ふろば bathing room出掛でかけてった set off toちかねた was waiting細君さいくん wife布団ふとん futon; bedding夜着よぎ night-clothes; heavy kimono-like quiltたたんで foldれいとおり as usual; as per habit掃除そうじ cleaningあらかた manner of washing十年じゅうねん一日いちじつ ten years if a day先日せんじつ the other day紹介しょうかいをした introduced; presented依然いぜんとして as always; as per habit持続じぞくして continue with; persist inあたま hair (on one's head)おわって finish parting西洋せいよう Western-style手拭てぬぐい hand towelかた shoulderちゃ living room出御しゅつぎょになる make one's grand arrival超然ちょうぜんとして nonchalantly長火鉢ながひばち (oblong; rectangular) brazierよこ beside; next toめた took up one's placeうと speaking of ...けやき Japanese zelkova tree如輪木じょりんもく polished wood grain (usually 如鱗木じょりんもく)あか総落そうおとし copper-lined洗髪あらいがみ freshly-washed hair姉御あねご elder sister立膝たてひざ sitting with one knee drawn upなが煙管ぎせる long-necked (tobacco) pipe黒柿くろがき black persimmon (wood)ふち rim; brim; edgeたたきつける tap (against)よう form; style想見そうけんする conjure up; picture諸君しょくん ladies and gentlemenないともかぎらない can't rule out ...; may well be ...苦沙弥くしゃみ Kushami (the master's name)先生せんせい teacher; professor; scholarいたっては when it comes to ...けっして by (no) means意気いきな smart; stylish; chicなんで of what; from whatつくった constructed; formed素人しろうと amateur; layman見当けんとう estimation; guess古雅こがな classically elegant; antiquatedんで wipe; polishひかる shine身上しんしょう (one's) worth; merit代物しろもの article; specimenさくら cherry (wood)きり paulownia (wood)元来がんらい in the first place; to begin with不明瞭ふめいりょう unclearうえに on top of ...布巾ふきん cleaning clothこと instance; case陰気いんき gloomy; dismalたざる looking worse for wearおびただしい to great extentってた (went and) purchasedおぼえ memory; recollectionもらった receivedく ask; questionだれも (no) oneひと personしからば in which caseぬすんだ stole; pilferedただしてる (try to) ascertain; confirmそのへん such a matter曖昧あいまい vague; unclearむかし some time ago; in days past親類しんるい relatives隠居いんきょ (people) leading a quiet life (after retirement)んだ died; passed awayとき time; occasion当分とうぶん for some time留守るすばん care-taking (of a house)たのまれた were requestedその thereafter一戸いっこ householdかまえて set up (a house)隠居いんきょじょ retirees' placeはらう vacate; move out ofさい occasion of; point in time自分じぶん oneself使つかっていた was usingなんもなく thinking nothing of itってて bring with少々しょうしょう in small part; to some degreeたちがわるい of poor character; lacking in discretionかんがえる consider; think about世間せけん the world; society往々おうおう all the time; often enoughおもう think; believe銀行家ぎんこうか banker毎日まいにち every day; each dayかね money役人やくにん government official人民じんみん citizens; the populace召使めしつかい servant用事ようじ business; affairsべんじさせる manage; take care of権限けんげん authority; jurisdiction委托いたくした took charge of代理人だいりにん agent; representative; proxy委任いにんされた have delegated権力けんりょく authority; influenceかさて wear the mantle of事務じむ business; affairs処理しょりして deal with; manage所有しょゆうして possess; ownくちばしるる poke one's nose into; meddle in; interfere with理由りゆう reason; pretext; motiveくるってくる lose one's bearings; go off the railsなか this world; society充満じゅうまんして be plentiful; thrive事件じけん incident; affair泥棒どろぼう根性こんじょう underhand character; thievish nature断定だんていする conclude; judge; declareわけにはかぬ one can hardly ...天下てんが under heaven; throughout the world