I am a Cat (Chapter 10 a) Section 327 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

かくのごとくはたらのないかたをもって、無事ぶじ朝食あさめしましたる主人しゅじんは、やがて洋服ようふくくるまって日本堤にほんづつみ分署ぶんしょ出頭しゅっとうおよんだ格子こうしをあけたとき車夫しゃふに日本堤というところってるかといたら、車夫はへへへとわらった。あの遊廓ゆうかくのある吉原よしわら近辺きんぺんの日本堤だぜとねんしたのは少々しょうしょう滑稽こっけいであった。

主人がめずらしく車で玄関げんかんから出掛でかけたあとで、妻君さいくんれいのごとく食事しょくじを済ませて「さあ学校がっこうへおいで。おそくなりますよ」と催促さいそくすると、小供こども平気へいきなもので「あら、でも今日きょう御休おやすよ」と支度したくをする景色けしきがない。「御休みなもんですか、はやくなさい」としかようにってかせると「それでも昨日きのう先生せんせいが御休だって、おっしゃってよ」とあねはなかなかどうじない。妻君もここいたって多少たしょうへんおもったものか、戸棚とだなからこよみしてかえしてと、あかでちゃんと御祭日ごさいじついる。主人は祭日とも知らずに学校へ欠勤けっきんとどけしたのだろう。細君も知らずに郵便ゆうびんばこほうんだのだろう。ただし迷亭めいていに至っては実際じっさい知らなかったのか、知って知らんかおをしたのか、そこは少々しょうしょう疑問ぎもんである。この発明はつめいにおやとおどろいた妻君はそれじゃ、みんなでおとなしく御遊おあそびなさい平生いつもとお針箱はりばこを出して仕事しごとりかかる

その三十分間さんじゅっぷんかん家内かない平穏へいおん別段べつだん吾輩わがはい材料ざいりょうになるような事件じけんおこらなかったが、突然とつぜんみょうひと御客おきゃく十七八じゅうしちはち女学生じょがくせいである。かかとまがったくついて紫色むらさきいろはかまきずってかみ算盤珠そろばんだまのようにふくらまして勝手口かってぐちから案内あんないわずにあがって。これは主人のめいである。学校の生徒せいとだそうだが、折々おりおり日曜にちようにやって来て、よく叔父おじさん喧嘩けんかをしてかえって雪江ゆきえとか奇麗きれいじょうさんである。もっとも顔は名前なまえほどでもない、ちょっとおもてへ出て一二町いちにちょうあるけばかならえる人相にんそうである。

Rough translation

The master, thus taking breakfast in his own time and without mishap, finishes eating, dons his suit, boards a hired cart, and heads off for the Nihonzutsumi branch. On stepping out the front door, his first action is to ask the cartman if he knows Nihonzutsumi. The cartman just grins in response. "It's right by Yoshiwara, known for its red light district," the master adds for good measure. The whole exchange strikes me as comical.

After the master makes his uncharacteristic departure by cart, the wife, per habit, finishes her own breakfast and then turns to the children. "Off to school. You don't want to be late." "But today's a holiday," the children answer back in a leisurely manner, showing no signs of movement. "Since when is today a holiday? Hurry on now," she reprimands. "The teacher reminded us, just yesterday." The eldest sister digs in and stands her ground. The wife, thinking something's amiss, goes to the cupboard and takes out the calendar. Sure enough, the day is marked in red. The master, utterly unaware, had drafted up a notice of absence to dispatch to the school. The wife, also unaware, had walked out and posted it. Meitei too had seemed not in the know, though one never can tell with Meitei. He may well have known and merely been faking. Surprised by this new revelation, the wife tells the children to go play quietly. She then proceeds to take out her sewing box, as always, and sets to work.

For the next thirty minutes, all is calm in the house, with nothing noteworthy to report, until suddenly an odd caller appears - a schoolgirl of seventeen or eighteen. In shoes with worn heels, trailing a purple hakama, and with hair done up like abacus beads, she lets herself in unannounced through the side entrance. This is the master's niece. From what I gather, she's a student somewhere. She calls from time to time on Sundays, has it out with the master on various topics, then takes her leave. Her name is Yukie, which has a lovely ring to it, but her features, I hate to say, do not live up to the billing. Walk one or two blocks down the street, and you'll soon enough see a similar hum-drum face.

Vocabulary

はたらき action; activity; achievementかた manner of eating無事ぶじに without incident; uneventfully朝食あさめし morning meal; breakfastましたる has finished主人しゅじん master洋服ようふく (Western-style) clothes; attireて put on; wear; dress inくるま car; cartって ride (in)日本堤にほんづつみ Nihonzutsumi (place name)分署ぶんしょ local station; branch出頭しゅっとう appearance; presenceおよんだ came to (the point of)格子こうし latticework (door)とき time; moment車夫しゃふ rickshaw puller; cartmanところ place; locationってる know; be familiar withいたら ask; enquireわらった laughed; chuckled遊廓ゆうかく red-light district吉原よしわら Yoshiwara (area in Tōkyō)近辺きんぺん neighborhood; vicinityねんした made sure of; confirmed少々しょうしょう a bit; to some degree滑稽こっけい comical; amusing めずらしく unusually; uncharacteristically玄関げんかん entryway出掛でかけた set out; departed; left妻君さいくん the wifeれいのごとく as usual; as always食事しょくじ meal学校がっこう schoolおそくなります be late催促さいそくする press; urge小供こども children (usually 子供こども)平気へいきなもので without concern; with a casual air今日きょう today御休おやすみ holiday; off day支度したく preparation; getting ready景色けしき sign; indicationはやくなさい hurry now; get movingしかる reprimand; scoldってかせる instruct; direct昨日きのう yesterday; the day prior先生せんせい teacher; instructorあね eldest sisterどうじない not move; hold one's groundいたって coming to ...; arriving at多少たしょう to some extent; to some degreeへん odd; strangeおもった thought; felt戸棚とだな cupboard; cabinetこよみ calendarして take outかえしてる take another look at; give a second lookあかい red characters; writing御祭日ごさいじつ national holidayて appear欠勤けっきんとどけ notice of absence (at work)した sent out; submitted郵便ゆうびんばこ mail box; post boxほうんだ dropped into迷亭めいてい Meitei (name)実際じっさいに actually; in factかお face; (facial) expression少々しょうしょう a bit; to some degree疑問ぎもん doubt; question発明はつめい discovery; new informationおどろいた was surprised御遊おあそびなさい go and play平生いつもとおり as always針箱はりばこ sewing box仕事しごと workりかかる set about; begin with その after that三十分間さんじゅっぷんかん span of thirty minutes家内かない inside the home平穏へいおん calm; quiet; tranquil別段べつだん in particular; especially吾輩わがはい I; me; myself材料ざいりょう material; source事件じけん incident; happeningおこらなかった did not occur; did not arise突然とつぜん suddenly; out of the blueみょうな odd; curiousひと person; individual御客おきゃく guest; visitor; callerた came; stopped by十七八じゅうしちはち 17 or 18女学生じょがくせい schoolgirl; female studentかかと heelsまがった were askew; were crookedくつ shoesいて wear (on one's feet)紫色むらさきいろ purple (color)はかま hakama (formal pleated skirt)きずって drag; trailかみ hair算盤珠そろばんだま abacus beads勝手口かってぐち kitchen door; side door案内あんない guidance; admittanceわずに without requestingあがってた came in (i.e., stepped up into)めい niece生徒せいと student折々おりおり from time to time; on occasion日曜にちよう Sunday叔父おじさん uncle喧嘩けんか argument; quarrelかえってく return home; take one's leave雪江ゆきえ Yukie (name)う called奇麗きれいな lovely; pleasant nameじょうさん young lady名前なまえ nameおもて out front一二町いちにちょう one or two blocksかならず invariably; without failえる can meet; can encounter人相にんそう looks; facial features