I am a Cat (Chapter 10 b) Section 346 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

年頃としごろ十七八じゅうしちはち雪江ゆきえさんとっつ、っつ書生しょせいである。おおきなあたまいてえるほどんで団子だんごぱなかお真中まんなかにかためて、座敷ざしきすみほうひかえている。べつこれと特徴とくちょうもないが頭蓋骨ずがいこつだけはすこぶる大きい。青坊主あおぼうずに刈ってさえ、ああ大きく見えるのだから、主人しゅじんのようにながばしたらさだめし人目ひとめことだろう。こんな顔にかぎって学問がくもんはあまり出来できないものだとは、かねてより主人の持説じせつである。事実じじつはそうかもれないがちょっと見るとナポレオンのようですこぶる偉観いかんである。着物きもの通例つうれい書生のごとく、薩摩絣さつまがすりか、久留米くるめがすりかまた伊予いよがすりわからないが、ともかくもかすりづけられたるあわせ袖短そでみじかにこなしてしたには襯衣シャツ襦袢じゅばんもないようだ。素袷すあわせ素足すあし意気いきものだそうだが、このおとこのはなはだむさくるしいかんあたえる。ことにたたみうえ泥棒どろぼうのような親指おやゆび歴然れきぜんみっまでいんしているのはまった素足の責任せきにん相違そういないかれよっ足跡あしあとの上へちゃんとすわって、さも窮屈きゅうくつそうにしこまっている。一体いったいかしこまるべきものがおとなしく控えるのは別段べつだんにするにもおよばんが、毬栗頭いがぐりあたまのつんつるてんの乱暴者らんぼうもの恐縮きょうしゅくしているところはなんとなく不調和ふちょうわものだ。途中とちゅう先生せんせいってさえれいをしないのを自慢じまんにするくらいの連中れんちゅうが、たとい三十分さんじゅっぷんでも人並ひとなみ坐るのはくるしいちがいない。ところをうま恭謙きょうけん君子くんし盛徳せいとく長者ちょうしゃであるかのごとくかまえるのだから、当人とうにんの苦しいにかかわらずはたからると大分だいぶおかしいのである。教場きょうじょうもしくは運動場うんどうじょうであんなに騒々そうぞうしいものが、どうしてかように自己じこ箝束かんそくするちからそなえているかとおもと、あわにもあるが滑稽こっけいでもある。こうやって一人ひとりずつ相対あいたいになると、いかに愚騃ぐがいなる主人といえども生徒せいとたいして幾分いくぶんかのおもがあるように思われる。主人もさだめし得意とくいであるちりつもってやまをなすと云うから、微々びびたる一生徒いちせいと多勢たぜい聚合しゅうごうするあなどるべからざる団体だんたいとなって、排斥はいせき運動うんどうストライキをしでかすかも知れない。これはちょうど臆病者おくびょうものさけんで大胆だいたんになるような現象げんしょうであろう。しゅうたのんでさわのは、ひとぱらった結果けっか正気しょうきおとしたるものとみとめて差支さしつかあるまい。それでなければかようにおそと云わんよりむしろ悄然しょうぜんとしてみずかふすまけられているくらいな薩摩絣が、いかに老朽ろうきゅうだと云って、かりそめにも先生と名のつく主人を軽蔑けいべつしようがない馬鹿ばか出来できわけがない。

Rough translation

A boarding student of seventeen or eighteen, about the same age as Yukie, is waiting in the corner of the parlor. His large head is close-cropped, so close that its shiny surface is visible, and a stout nose, the size of a dumpling, dominates the center of his face. His defining feature, though, is his oversized skull. Even close-cropped, it seems remarkably large. Should he ever grow out his hair, as the master does, it's proportions would stand out even more. The master has long believed that it's just such features and faces that defy scholarship. He may in fact be on to something, but at first glance, at least, this oversized head conjures up visions of grandeur, along the lines of a Napoleon or such. His attire, typical of boarding students, consists of a lined kimono, cut short in the sleeves in keeping with current style, and sewn from some form of splash-patterned plain weave fabric, perhaps in the Satsuma style, or perhaps in the Kurume or Iyo styles. Who can tell. Under this lined kimono, it seems he's donned neither shirt nor undergarment. They say a single lined kimono and bare feet are trendy these days, but not so on this fellow. He personifies filth and grime. Owing to his bare and dusty feet, three clear prints adorn the tatami, as when that burglar stole cross this very same room. He's seated himself on print number four, bolt upright and struggling mightily to hold himself still. Waiting quietly, in a situation that calls for quiet waiting, should hardly be noteworthy, yet there's something terribly incongruous in this rambunctious young man, with his close-cropped head and awkward attire, surrendering himself to the dictates of formality. For him and his ilk, who when passing their teachers in the street pride themselves on displaying no deference, thirty minutes of respectful stillness is sheer agony. That being said, there he sits, acting the part of the humble gentleman or virtuous nobleman. To the casual observer, despite his internal suffering and duress, the scene comes across as highly comical. To think that this young urchin, so boisterous in the classroom and raucous on the playground, has for whatever reason been forced now to restrain himself, is both heart-rending and at the same time amusing. The master, however witless he may be, when thus paired one-on-one with a student, assumes due weight of authority. He beams with satisfaction. They say that dust piles into mountains. Likewise, the massing of single students is a force to be reckoned with, capable of ousting educators or boycotting classes. This is no different than a coward emboldened by drink. In the safety of numbers, intoxicated by the fellowship of kindred human spirits, these students stand ready to cast aside all semblances of sobriety at the drop of a hat. How else could it be that this fellow here now, humbled to the point of dejection, shrinking against the wall in his shabby kimono, could so disdain the master, who however decrepit is still his instructor? How else could said fellow be so emboldened as to mock the master routinely?

Vocabulary

る see; look; view年頃としごろ approximate age十七八じゅうしちはち 17 or 18雪江ゆきえ Yukie (name)っつ、っつ much the same; nearly equal書生しょせい boarding studentおおきな largeあたま head surfaceいてえる see through toんで trim; clip団子だんごぱな pug nose (lit: dumpling nose)かお face真中まんなか middle; center座敷ざしき living room; parlorすみ cornerほう directionひかえて be waitingべつに especially; in particularう say; state; note特徴とくちょう features; traits; characteristics頭蓋骨ずがいこつ skull; cranium青坊主あおぼうず shaved head主人しゅじん masterながばしたら let extend; grow longさだめし surely; certainly人目ひとめ notice; attentionく gather; draw; attractこと situation; state学問がくもん scholarship; learning出来できない can't do; is incapable ofもの persons持説じせつ personal opinion; pet theory事実じじつ reality; actualityかもれない it may be that ...ナポレオン Napoleon偉観いかん grand sight; fine spectacle着物きもの clothes; attire; dress通例つうれいの usual; ordinary薩摩絣さつまがすり Satsuma-style kasuri (splash-patterned plain weave fabric)久留米くるめがすり Kurume-style kasuri (Kurume = city in northern Kyūshū)伊予いよがすり Iyo-style kasuri (Iyo = city in Ehime Prefecture on Shikoku)わからない don't know; can't tellかすり splash-patterned plain weave fabricづけられたる is referred to (as)あわせ lined kimono袖短そでみじかに cut short in the sleevesこなして dress oneself stylishlyした below; underneath襯衣シャツ shirt襦袢じゅばん undershirt素袷すあわせ wearing a lined kimono without underlayers素足すあし bare feet意気いきな chic; smart; stylishおとこ fellowむさくるしい dirty; foul; sordidかんじ feeling; impressionあたえる give; impartたたみ tatami (mat)うえ top of; surface泥棒どろぼう burglar; thief親指おやゆび big toe (marks)歴然れきぜんと clearly; evidentlyみっつ three (things)いんして stamp; mark; leave (one's footprints)まったく utterly; completely責任せきにん responsibility相違そういない without doubt ...かれ he; himよっの fourth足跡あしあと footprintすわって sit; be seated窮屈きゅうくつそうに looking fidgety; seemingly uncomfortableしこまって sit upright; sit at attention一体いったい generally; in general別段べつだん in particular; especiallyにする take note of; pay heed toにもおよばん is not worth ...毬栗頭いがぐりあたま close-cropped head (lit: chestnut head)乱暴者らんぼうもの wild thing; rabble rouser恐縮きょうしゅくして make oneself small; behave deferentiallyなんとなく somehow; in some sense不調和ふちょうわな incongruous; discordant途中とちゅうで on the way; in passing先生せんせい teacher; instructorって encounter; meetれい greeting; salutation自慢じまん point of pride連中れんちゅう company; lot三十分さんじゅっぷん thirty minutes人並ひとなみに like anyone elseくるしい agonizing; excruciatingちがいない is without doubt ...うまて innate; by birth恭謙きょうけん modesty; humility君子くんし gentleman盛徳せいとく abundant virtue長者ちょうしゃ virtuous and gentle personかまえる adopt a posture; assume a stance当人とうにん the person in questionはたからると to the outside observer大分だいぶ considerably; greatly教場きょうじょう classroom運動場うんどうじょう playground; sports ground騒々そうぞうしい boisterous; raucous自己じこ oneself箝束かんそくする restrain; restrictちから capabiity; facultyそなえて possess; be equipped withおもう consider; wonderあわれ pitiable; pathetic滑稽こっけい comical; amusing一人ひとりずつ one (person) at a time相対あいたい private conversation; one-on-one愚騃ぐがいなる (is) foolish; asinine; witless生徒せいと studentsたいして with respect to; regarding幾分いくぶんかの some extent ofおもみ weight; importance; authorityさだめし surely; certainly得意とくいである seems to take pride; seems to find satisfactionちりつもってやまをなす dust piles into mountains微々びびたる (is) trifling; insignificant一生徒いちせいと single student多勢たぜい great numbers; force of many聚合しゅうごうする gather; assembleあなどるべからざる cannot be taken lightly団体だんたい group; body; society排斥はいせき expulsion; purge運動うんどう movement; campaignストライキ strike; walkout臆病者おくびょうもの cowardさけ saké; alcohol; spiritsんで drink大胆だいたん bold; daring; audacious現象げんしょう phenomenonしゅう group; mass (of people)たのんで rely on; lean onさわす cause an uproar; stir the potひと people; men spirit; essenceぱらった has become intoxicated (with)結果けっか results; consequence正気しょうき sanity; sobrietyおとしたる let fall awayみとめて deem; judge差支さしつかえ objection; problem; difficultyおそる be humbled; feel small悄然しょうぜんとして dejectedly; with sunken spiritみずから of one's own initiativeふすま fusuma (sliding screen)けられて be pressed against老朽ろうきゅう infirmity (due to old age); decrepitudeかりそめにも at least in some measure軽蔑けいべつしようがない could hardly disdain; could in no way look down on馬鹿ばか出来できる can make a fool of; can mockわけ situation; circumstance