Danger! Danger! Translation in Progress

This is the unblog. I will post a translation of a short story little by little. This is the first draft. Warts and all.

Excerpts from this short story by Osamu Dazai appear in his travel journal Tsugaru (津軽).

思ひ出

太宰治

Memories

Osamu Dazai

 黄昏のころ私は叔母と並んで門口に立つてゐた。叔母は誰かをおんぶしてゐるらしく、ねんねこを着て居た。その時の、ほのぐらい街路の靜けさを私は忘れずにゐる。叔母は、てんしさまがお隱れになつたのだ、と私に教へて、生《い》き神樣《がみさま》、と言ひ添へた。いきがみさま、と私も興深げに呟いたやうな氣がする。それから、私は何か不敬なことを言つたらしい。叔母は、そんなことを言ふものでない、お隱れになつたと言へ、と私をたしなめた。どこへお隱れになつたのだらう、と私は知つてゐながら、わざとさう尋ねて叔母を笑はせたのを思ひ出す。

One

At dusk, I was standing next to my aunt at the gate. She was wearing a nursemaid's short coat to protect whoever she may be carrying on her back. I never forgot the quietness of the gloomy street at that time. My aunt told me angels died and added they are living gods. I muttered living god like I was interested then seemed to say something blasphemous. My aunt scolded me and said not to speak like that and I would die. While I wondered where I would die, I remember deliberately asking my aunt and making her smile.



 私は明治四十二年の夏の生れであるから、此の大帝崩御のときは數へどしの四つをすこし越えてゐた。多分おなじ頃の事であつたらうと思ふが、私は叔母とふたりで私の村から二里ほどはなれた或る村の親類の家へ行き、そこで見た瀧を忘れない。瀧は村にちかい山の中にあつた。青々と苔の生えた崖から幅の廣い瀧がしろく落ちてゐた。知らない男の人の肩車に乘つて私はそれを眺めた。何かの社《やしろ》が傍にあつて、その男の人が私にそこのさまざまな繪馬を見せたが私は段々とさびしくなつて、がちや、がちや、と泣いた。私は叔母をがちやと呼んでゐたのである。叔母は親類のひとたちと遠くの窪地に毛氈を敷いて騷いでゐたが、私の泣き聲を聞いて、いそいで立ち上つた。そのとき毛氈が足にひつかかつたらしく、お辭儀でもするやうにからだを深くよろめかした。他のひとたちはそれを見て、醉つた、醉つたと叔母をはやしたてた。私は遙かはなれてこれを見おろし、口惜《くや》しくて口惜《くや》しくて、いよいよ大聲を立てて泣き喚いた。またある夜、叔母が私を捨てて家を出て行く夢を見た。叔母の胸は玄關のくぐり戸いつぱいにふさがつてゐた。その赤くふくれた大きい胸から、つぶつぶの汗がしたたつてゐた。叔母は、お前がいやになつた、とあらあらしく呟くのである。私は叔母のその乳房に頬をよせて、さうしないでけんせ、と願ひつつしきりに涙を流した。叔母が私を搖り起した時は、私は床の中で叔母の胸に顏を押しつけて泣いてゐた。眼が覺めてからも、私はまだまだ悲しくて永いことすすり泣いた。けれども、その夢のことは叔母にも誰にも話さなかつた。

I was born in Meiji year 42 (1909) and a little older than four when the Meiji emperor died. I think it was around that time I went with my aunt to the home of relatives who lived in a village about two ri from my village and never forgot the waterfall I saw there. The waterfall was in the mountains near the village. The wide waterfall fell from a cliff with a lush growth of moss. I stared at it while riding on the shoulders of a strange man. We were next to some shrine. The man showed me various votive tablets there but I gradually grew lonely and started bawling. I was crying for my aunt. On a rug spread out in a far-off basin, she was enjoying a pleasant time with some relatives but heard my cries and quickly stood. The rug seemed to trap her feet, and her body wobbled as if she were bowing. Seeing this, the others teased my aunt saying she was drunk. I saw this from far away and felt so sorry and cried louder with tears pouring down. One night, I dreamed my aunt abandoned me and left home. My aunt's breast blocked the side door of the entryway. A grainy sweat trickled from her reddened, huge breasts. My aunt grumbled roughly at me, "You've become a horrible boy." My cheeks moved closer to her breasts. While crying, she said, "Don't do that." When my aunt started to shake me, I pushed my face into her breasts as she sat on the floor and cried. Even after I woke up, I remained sad for a long time and cried. I never told my aunt or anyone else about that dream.

 叔母についての追憶はいろいろとあるが、その頃の父母の思ひ出は生憎と一つも持ち合せない。曾祖母、祖母、父、母、兄三人、姉四人、弟一人、それに叔母と叔母の娘四人の大家族だつた筈であるが、叔母を除いて他のひとたちの事は私も五六歳になるまでは殆ど知らずにゐたと言つてよい。廣い裏庭に、むかし林檎の大木が五六本あつたやうで、どんよりと曇つた日、それらの木に女の子が多人數で昇つて行つた有樣や、そのおなじ庭の一隅に菊畑があつて、雨の降つてゐたとき、私はやはり大勢の女の子らと傘さし合つて菊の花の咲きそろつてゐるのを眺めたことなど、幽かに覺えて居るけれど、あの女の子らが私の姉や從姉たちだつたのかも知れない。

I have many memories about my aunt at that time but none of my parents. My large family included my great-grandmother, grandmother, father, mother, three older brothers, four older sisters, and one younger brother, as well as my aunt and her four daughters. But except for my aunt, I know almost nothing about the others until I reached five or six years old. Five or six large apple trees grew in the expansive back garden. One cloudy day, many girls climbed up those trees. There was a chrysanthemum field in the corner of that same garden. When rain fell, I dimly recall watching a large group of girls open their umbrellas and putting them together to look like a blooming chyrsanthemum. Those girls were probably my older sisters and female cousins.

 六つ七つになると思ひ出もはつきりしてゐる。私がたけといふ女中から本を讀むことを教へられ二人で樣々の本を讀み合つた。たけは私の教育に夢中であつた。私は病身だつたので、寢ながらたくさん本を讀んだ。讀む本がなくなればたけは村の日曜學校などから子供の本をどしどし借りて來て私に讀ませた。私は默讀することを覺えてゐたので、いくら本を讀んでも疲れないのだ。たけは又、私に道徳を教へた。お寺へ屡々連れて行つて、地獄極樂の御繪掛地を見せて説明した。火を放《つ》けた人は赤い火のめらめら燃えてゐる籠を脊負はされ、めかけ持つた人は二つの首のある青い蛇にからだを卷かれて、せつながつてゐた。血の池や、針の山や、無間奈落といふ白い煙のたちこめた底知れぬ深い穴や、到るところで、蒼白く痩せたひとたちが口を小さくあけて泣き叫んでゐた。嘘を吐けば地獄へ行つてこのやうに鬼のために舌を拔かれるのだ、と聞かされたときには恐ろしくて泣き出した。

I clearly remember turning six or seven. A nursemaid called Take read books to me. We read many books together. Take was obsessed with my education. I was sickly and read many books while in bed. If I ran out of books to read, she borrowed children's books from the Sunday school in the village and let me read them. I remember silently reading them. No matter how many I read, I never got tired. Take also taught me morals. She often took me to the temple to show and explain Oekakeji about hell and paradise. A person who sets fires carries a blazing basket on his back. The body of a man with a mistress is wrapped by a green snake with two heads and is suffocated. When you reach places like a lake of blood, a mountain of pins, and Avichi, a deep hole with no known bottom enveloped by white smoke, pale, thin people slightly open their mouths and cry out. If you tell a lie, you go to hell and your tongue is cut out for a demon. When I heard these things, I got so scared I cried.

 そのお寺の裏は小高い墓地になつてゐて、山吹かなにかの生垣に沿うてたくさんの卒堵婆が林のやうに立つてゐた。卒堵婆には、滿月ほどの大きさで車のやうな黒い鐵の輪のついてゐるのがあつて、その輪をからから廻して、やがて、そのまま止つてじつと動かないならその廻した人は極樂へ行き、一旦とまりさうになつてから、又からんと逆に廻れば地獄へ落ちる、とたけは言つた。たけが廻すと、いい音をたててひとしきり廻つて、かならずひつそりと止るのだけれど、私が廻すと後戻りすることがたまたまあるのだ。秋のころと記憶するが、私がひとりでお寺へ行つてその金輪のどれを廻して見ても皆言ひ合せたやうにからんからんと逆廻りした日があつたのである。私は破れかけるかんしやくだまを抑へつつ何十囘となく執拗に廻しつづけた。日が暮れかけて來たので、私は絶望してその墓地から立ち去つた。

Behind the temple was a small, elevated graveyard. Many stupa shrines were erected like a forest along the hedges of flowers like roses. A black iron ring like a wheel as big as the full moon was attached to each stupa. The ring clattered as it turned. Take told me if the ring comes to a standstill and does not move again, the person who turned it goes to paradise. If it stops and begins to turn in the opposite direction, the person goes to hell. When Take turned, a pleasant sound was raised as it turned for a short time and it always quietly stopped. However, by chance, when I turned it, the ring went in reverse. I remember going to the temple alone one autumn and turning one of those metal rings. And one day it clattered and turned in reverse as everyone said. While suppressing a fit of rage about to erupt, I persisted in turning it dozens of times. Nightfall came and I left the graveyard in despair…

 父母はその頃東京にすまつてゐたらしく、私は叔母に連れられて上京した。私は餘程ながく東京に居たのださうであるが、あまり記憶に殘つてゐない。その東京の別宅へ、ときどき訪れる婆のことを覺えてゐるだけである。私は此の婆がきらひで、婆の來る度毎に泣いた。婆は私に赤い郵便自動車の玩具をひとつ呉れたが、ちつとも面白くなかつたのである。

My parents were living in Tokyo at that time, so my aunt took me there. I spent a fairly long time in Tokyo, but remember almost nothing. I only remember an old woman visiting the other house in Tokyo once in a while. I disliked this old woman and cried each time she came. She gave me a toy red postal car but I never enjoyed playing with it.

 やがて私は故郷の小學校へ入つたが、追憶もそれと共に一變する。たけは、いつの間にかゐなくなつてゐた。或漁村へ嫁に行つたのであるが、私がそのあとを追ふだらうといふ懸念からか、私には何も言はずに突然ゐなくなつた。その翌年だかのお盆のとき、たけは私のうちへ遊びに來たが、なんだかよそよそしくしてゐた。私に學校の成績を聞いた。私は答へなかつた。ほかの誰かが代つて知らせたやうだ。たけは、油斷大敵でせえ、と言つただけで格別ほめもしなかつた。

Eventually, I entered grade school in my hometown. My memory changes about that. Before I knew it, Take disappeared and went to become a wife in some fishing village. Was she worried I would follow her? Without a word to me, she suddenly disappeared. During the Obon Festival the next year, Take came to my house but I gave her the cold shoulder. She asked about my grades, but I didn't answer. I would have told anyone else. Take said, "Overconfidence leads to failure," and never praised me much.

 同じ頃、叔母とも別れなければならぬ事情が起つた。それまでに叔母の次女は嫁ぎ、三女は死に、長女は齒醫者の養子をとつてゐた。叔母はその長女夫婦と末娘とを連れて、遠くのまちへ分家したのである。私もついて行つた。それは冬のことで、私は叔母と一緒に橇の隅へうずくまつてゐると、橇の動きだす前に私のすぐ上の兄が、婿《むご》、婿《むご》と私を罵つて橇の幌の外から私の尻を何邊もつついた。私は齒を食ひしばつて此の屈辱にこらへた。私は叔母に貰はれたのだと思つてゐたが、學校にはひるやうになつたら、また故郷へ返されたのである。

Around that time, I had to leave with my aunt. Previously, my aunt's second daughter married, and her third daughter died. Her oldest daughter married a dentist who was adopted into her family. My aunt and her youngest daughter went to live with this daughter and her husband, who established a branch family in a town far away. I went, too. It was winter when I was in a sleigh with my aunt and crouched in a corner. Before the sleigh began to move, my next older brother started to tease me with "You're the son-in-law. The son-in-law," and poked my ass some number of times from outside the sleigh's hood. I clenched my teeth to bear this humiliation. I thought I was staying with my aunt but returned to my hometown to go to school.

 學校に入つてからの私は、もう子供でなかつた。裏の空屋敷には色んな雜草がのんのんと繁つてゐたが、夏の或る天氣のいい日に私はその草原の上で弟の子守から息苦しいことを教へられた。私が八つぐらゐで、子守もそのころは十四五を越えてゐまいと思ふ。苜蓿を私の田舍では「ぼくさ」と呼んでゐるが、その子守は私と三つちがふ弟に、ぼくさの四つ葉を搜して來い、と言ひつけて追ひやり私を抱いてころころと轉げ※[#「廴+囘」、第4水準2-12-11]つた。それからも私たちは藏の中だの押入の中だのに隱れて遊んだ。弟がひどく邪魔であつた。押入のそとにひとり殘された弟が、しくしく泣き出した爲、私のすぐの兄に私たちのことを見つけられてしまつた時もある。兄が弟から聞いて、その押入の戸をあけたのだ。子守は、押入へ錢《ぜに》を落したのだ、と平氣で言つてゐた。

After I started school, I was no longer a child. Weeds grew thick at the vacant mansion out back, but one nice summer day, I learned a tough lesson from the babysitter of my younger brother in the mansion's grassy field. I think I was around eight, and the babysitter was older than fourteen or fifteen. The plant called mokushuku was called bokusa in the countryside where I'm from. The babysitter ordered my brother, who's three years younger than me, to go and get four bokusa flowers and then hugged me and rolled all around. From then on, we hid and played in the storehouse and in closets. My brother was a great pest. My brother cried and cried when left alone outside the closet. Sometimes my next older brother would find us. My older brother listened to my younger brother and opened the closet door. The babysitter calmly said she dropped a zeni coin in the closet.

 嘘は私もしじゆう吐いてゐた。小學二年か三年の雛祭りのとき學校の先生に、うちの人が今日は雛さまを飾るのだから早く歸れと言つてゐる、と嘘を吐いて授業を一時間も受けずに歸宅し、家の人には、けふは桃の節句だから學校は休みです、と言つて雛を箱から出すのに要らぬ手傳ひをしたことがある。また私は小鳥の卵を愛した。雀の卵は藏の屋根瓦をはぐと、いつでもたくさん手にいれられたが、さくらどりの卵やからすの卵などは私の屋根に轉つてなかつたのだ。その燃えるやうな緑の卵や可笑しい斑點のある卵を、私は學校の生徒たちから貰つた。その代り私はその生徒たちに私の藏書を五册十册とまとめて與へるのである。集めた卵は綿でくるんで机の引き出しに一杯しまつて置いた。すぐの兄は、私のその祕密の取引に感づいたらしく、ある晩、私に西洋の童話集ともう一册なんの本だか忘れたが、その二つを貸して呉れと言つた。私は兄の意地惡さを憎んだ。私はその兩方の本とも卵に投資して了つてないのであつた。兄は私がないと言へばその本の行先を追及するつもりなのだ。私は、きつとあつた筈だから搜して見る、と答へた。私は、私の部屋は勿論、家中いつぱいランプをさげて搜して歩いた。兄は私についてあるきながら、ないのだらう、と言つて笑つてゐた。私は、ある、と頑強に言ひ張つた。臺所の戸棚の上によぢのぼつてまで搜した。兄はしまひに、もういい、と言つた。

I lied all the time, too. During the Doll's Festival in second or third grade, I lied to the teacher and said I was told to go home early to dress the dolls that day. I went home without staying in class for an hour. And I told the people at home that I had the day off from school because of the Momo no Sekku doll display and wasn't needed to help take the dolls out of the boxes. I loved birds' eggs. When I removed roof tiles from the storehouse, I always collected a lot of sparrow's eggs. Eggs from sakuradori and eggs from crows didn't roll onto my roof. Students at school gave me eggs with streaks that looked like they were burned on and funny looking spotted eggs. In exchange, I gave them five to ten books from my book collection. I wrapped the eggs I collected in cotton and filled a drawer of my desk with them. The brother just older than me sensed I had a secret drawer. One night, he said he forgot a book of Western fairy tales and another book and asked to borrow them. I hated this brother's spitefulness. He didn't know I invested those two books in eggs. If I said I didn't have them, he would find out where they were. I said I definitely had them and would look for them. Of course, I took a lamp to search my room and walked around the entire house. My brother followed me and laughed when he said, "They're not here." I kept insisting they were. I even climbed on the kitchen cupboards to look. Finally, my brother gave up.

 學校で作る私の綴方も、ことごとく出鱈目であつたと言つてよい。私は私自身を神妙ないい子にして綴るやう努力した。さうすれば、いつも皆にかつさいされるのである。剽竊さへした。當時傑作として先生たちに言ひはやされた「弟の影繪」といふのは、なにか少年雜誌の一等當選作だつたのを私がそつくり盜んだものである。先生は私にそれを毛筆で清書させ、展覽會に出させた。あとで本好きのひとりの生徒にそれを發見され、私はその生徒の死ぬことを祈つた。やはりそのころ「秋の夜」といふのも皆の先生にほめられたが、それは、私が勉強して頭が痛くなつたから縁側へ出て庭を見渡した、月のいい夜で池には鯉や金魚がたくさん遊んでゐた、私はその庭の靜かな景色を夢中で眺めてゐたが、隣部屋から母たちの笑ひ聲がどつと起つたので、はつと氣がついたら私の頭痛がなほつて居た、といふ小品文であつた。此の中には眞實がひとつもないのだ。庭の描寫は、たしか姉たちの作文帳から拔き取つたものであつたし、だいいち私は頭のいたくなるほど勉強した覺えなどさつぱりないのである。私は學校が嫌ひで、したがつて學校の本など勉強したことは一囘もなかつた。娯樂本ばかり讀んでゐたのである。うちの人は私が本さへ讀んで居れば、それを勉強だと思つてゐた。

The compositions I wrote in school can be said to be total nonsense. I worked hard to depict myself as a docile boy. If I did, everyone would always applaud me. I even plagarized. "My Little Brother's Shadow Picture" was said by my teachers at the time to be a masterpiece. I picked it from some boys' magazine and stole the whole thing. My teacher made me write a clean copy using a brush and displayed it. Later, a book-loving student found out. I prayed for his death. At that time, one work called "Autumn Nights" was praised by all of the teachers. It was a short piece.

I was studying until my head hurt and went out to the veranda and looked across the garden. On the beautiful moonlit night, many carp and goldfish played in the pond. I stared in a dream at the quiet scene in the garden. The laughing voices of my mother and aunts burst from the adjoining room. I suddenly noticed my headache was cured.

Not one truth was in it. I definitely took the description of the garden from my older sisters' composition books. First of all, I remembered absolutely nothing when I studied so hard my head hurt. I hated school and never studied my schoolbooks. I only read books for pleasure. As for the people at my house, if I was reading a book, they thought I was studying.

 しかし私が綴方へ眞實を書き込むと必ずよくない結果が起つたのである。父母が私を愛して呉れないといふ不平を書き綴つたときには、受持訓導に教員室へ呼ばれて叱られた。

「もし戰爭が起つたなら。」といふ題を與へられて、地震雷火事親爺、それ以上に怖い戰爭が起つたなら先づ山の中へでも逃げ込まう、逃げるついでに先生をも誘はう、先生も人間、僕も人間、いくさの怖いのは同じであらう、と書いた。

此の時には校長と次席訓導とが二人がかりで私を調べた。

どういふ氣持で之を書いたか、と聞かれたので、私はただ面白半分に書きました、といい加減なごまかしを言つた。次席訓導は手帖へ、「好奇心」と書き込んだ。

それから私と次席訓導とが少し議論を始めた。

先生も人間、僕も人間、と書いてあるが人間といふものは皆おなじものか、と彼は尋ねた。

さう思ふ、と私はもぢもぢしながら答へた。

私はいつたいに口が重い方であつた。

それでは僕と此の校長先生とは同じ人間でありながら、どうして給料が違ふのだ、と彼に問はれて私は暫く考へた。

そして、それは仕事がちがふからでないか、と答へた。

鐵縁の眼鏡をかけ、顏の細い次席訓導は私のその言葉をすぐ手帖に書きとつた。私はかねてから此の先生に好意を持つてゐた。それから彼は私にこんな質問をした。君のお父さんと僕たちとは同じ人間か。私は困つて何とも答へなかつた。

However, the result was writing the truth was not necessarily good. When I wrote my about my grievance of my parents not loving me, I was summoned to the teachers' room and scolded by the head teacher.

Given the topic of "If war starts," I wrote:

If the war is going to be more frightening than a father who's scarier than earthquakes or lightning, first, you should escape to the mountains. After fleeing, you should invite a teacher. The teacher is human, and I am human, and we have the same fear of war.

That time, the principal and the most senior teacher ganged up to investigate me.

They asked me, "What were you feeling when you wrote that?" I said, "I wrote it half joking." Then they said, "That is an irresponsible trick."

The senior teacher wrote Curiosity in his notebook. From then on, the senior teacher and I had a little talk.

"You wrote the teacher is human and I am human, but isn't everyone the same human?"

I answered without hesitation, "I think so."

I said little.

Then he asked me, "If the principal and I are the same humans, then why are our salaries different?"

I thought for a while then answered, "Isn't that because you have different jobs?"

The narrow-faced senior teacher put on his eyeglasses and wrote what I said in his notebook. After that, I felt good about this teacher. Then he asked me, "Are your father and I the same humans?" I was perplexed and didn't answer.

 私の父は非常に忙しい人で、うちにゐることがあまりなかつた。うちにゐても子供らと一緒には居らなかつた。私は此の父を恐れてゐた。父の萬年筆をほしがつてゐながらそれを言ひ出せないで、ひとり色々と思ひ惱んだ末、或る晩に床の中で眼をつぶつたまま寢言《ねごと》のふりして、まんねんひつ、まんねんひつ、と隣部屋で客と對談中の父へ低く呼びかけた事があつたけれど、勿論それは父の耳にも心にもはひらなかつたらしい。私と弟とが米俵のぎつしり積まれたひろい米藏に入つて面白く遊んでゐると、父が入口に立ちはだかつて、坊主、出ろ、出ろ、と叱つた。光を脊から受けてゐるので父の大きい姿がまつくろに見えた。私は、あの時の恐怖を惟ふと今でもいやな氣がする。

My father was a very busy man and rarely home. Even when home, he wasn't with the children. I feared my father. I wanted my father's fountain pen but never said so. I agonized alone over various matters. One night, I was talking in my sleep in bed with my eyes shut. I softly called, "Fountain pen. Fountain pen," to my father in conversation with a guest in the adjoining room. Naturally, it didn't seem to enter my father's ears or heart. When my younger brother and I went inside the huge rice granary packed with bags of rice and played, my father stood in a wide stance at the entrance and shouted, "Get out of here. You brats." The huge shadow of my father with the light behind him looked black. Even now I think about my terror at that time and feel horrible.

 母に對しても私は親しめなかつた。乳母の乳で育つて叔母の懷で大きくなつた私は、小學校の二三年のときまで母を知らなかつたのである。下男がふたりかかつて私にそれを教へたのだが、ある夜、傍に寢てゐた母が私の蒲團の動くのを不審がつて、なにをしてゐるのか、と私に尋ねた。

私はひどく當惑して、腰が痛いからあんまやつてゐるのだ、と返事した。

母は、そんなら揉んだらいい、たたいて許りゐたつて、と眠さうに言つた。

私は默つてしばらく腰を撫でさすつた。母への追憶はわびしいものが多い。私が藏から兄の洋服を出し、それを着て裏庭の花壇の間をぶらぶら歩きながら、私の即興的に作曲する哀調のこもつた歌を口ずさんでは涙ぐんでゐた。私はその身裝《みなり》で帳場の書生と遊びたく思ひ、女中を呼びにやつたが、書生は仲々來なかつた。私は裏庭の竹垣を靴先でからからと撫でたりしながら彼を待つてゐたのであるが、たうとうしびれを切らして、ズボンのポケツトに兩手をつつ込んだまま泣き出した。私の泣いてゐるのを見つけた母は、どうした譯か、その洋服をはぎ取つて了つて私の尻をぴしやぴしやとぶつたのである。私は身を切られるやうな恥辱を感じた。

I wasn't close to my mother either. I was raised on the milk of a wet nurse and grew up at the bosom of my aunt. I did not know my mother until I was in second or third grade. A manservant was the go-between and told me that. One night, my mother, who slept nearby, was suspicious of the movement under my futon and asked, "What are you doing?"

I was confused and said, "My stomach hurts and I'm massaging it."

My mother said sounding tired, "In that case, massaging it is good, but you're just tapping it."

I said nothing and stroked my stomach for a short time. Many of the memories of my mother are wretched. I took my older brother's Western-style clothes from the storehouse, put them on, and strolled aimlessly around the back garden. As I walked, I hummed an improvised song filled with sadness and teared up. I wanted to play with the clerk while dressed in that attire and called a maid. The clerk didn't come. I waited while stroking my clattering shoe tip against the bamboo fence. My foot finally got a cramp and I cried out with both hands in the pockets of the pants. My mother saw me crying and for some reason stripped off those clothes and slapped by butt. I was so ashamed I could have killed myself.

 私は早くから服裝に關心を持つてゐたのである。シヤツの袖口にはボタンが附いてゐないと承知できなかつた。白いフランネルのシヤツを好んだ。襦袢の襟も白くなければいけなかつた。えりもとからその白襟を一分《いちぶ》か二分《にぶ》のぞかせるやうに注意した。十五夜のときには、村の生徒たちはみんな晴衣を着て學校へ出て來るが、私も毎年きまつて茶色の太い縞のある本ネルの着物を着て行つて、學校の狹い廊下を女のやうになよなよと小走りにはしつて見たりするのであつた。私はそのやうなおしやれを、人に感附かれぬやうひそかにやつた。うちの人たちは私の容貌を兄弟中で一番わるいわるい、と言つてゐたし、そのやうな惡いをとこが、こんなおしやれをすると知られたら皆に笑はれるだらう、と考へたからである。私は、かへつて服裝に無關心であるやうに振舞ひ、しかもそれは或る程度まで成功したやうに思ふ。誰の眼にも私は鈍重で野暮臭く見えたにちがひないのだ。私が兄弟たちとお膳のまへに坐つてゐるときなど、祖母や母がよく私の顏のわるい事を眞面目に言つたものだが、私にはやはりくやしかつた。私は自分をいいをとこだと信じてゐたので、女中部屋なんかへ行つて、兄弟中で誰が一番いいをとこだらう、とそれとなく聞くことがあつた。女中たちは、長兄が一番で、その次が治ちやだ、と大抵さう言つた。私は顏を赤くして、それでも少し不滿だつた。長兄よりもいいをとこだと言つて欲しかつたのである。

From early on, I had a deep interest in clothes. I could not accept not buttoning the button on the shirt collar. I loved white flannel shirts. The neckband of my undershirt had to be white. I carefully inspected one or two parts of the white collar at my neck. On the evening of the harvest moon, all the students in the village wore formal clothes and went to the school. Every year, however, I wore a kimono with thick brown stripes for sleeping and daintily ran like a girl through the narrow halls of the school. I was stealthily giving people a sense of my style. The people in my house said I had the worst appearance among the brothers. I think everyone would laugh when they found out that bad aspect was my style. Instead, I behaved with indifference to clothes and was successful to some degree. To anyone's eyes, I was certainly seen as the dimwitted brute. When I sat before a tray for a meal with my brothers, my grandmother and mother often seriously spoke about the bad aspects of my face, which of course was mortifying to me. I believed I had good points. I went to the maids' room to ask in a roundabout way who's the best of the brothers. The maids mostly said my oldest brother was the best and I, Ji-chan, was next. My face reddened and I was a little dissatisfied. I wanted them to say I had more good points than my oldest brother.

 私は容貌のことだけでなく、不器用だといふ點で祖母たちの氣にいらなかつた。箸の持ちかたが下手で食事の度毎に祖母から注意されたし、私のおじぎは尻があがつて見苦しいとも言はれた。私は祖母の前にきちんと坐らされ、何囘も何囘もおじぎをさせられたけれど、いくらやつて見ても祖母は上手だと言つて呉れないのである。

Not only my looks, my grandmother was not pleased with my awkwardness. She warned me about the way I held my chopsticks everytime I ate and said seeing my butt rise up when I bowed was difficult to watch. Despite having to sit properly in the presence of my grandmother and being made to bow again and again, no matter how many times she saw me bow, she never told me it was good.

 祖母も私にとつて苦手であつたのだ。村の芝居小屋の舞臺開きに東京の雀三郎一座といふのがかかつたとき、私はその興業中いちにちも缺かさず見物に行つた。その小屋は私の父が建てたのだから、私はいつでもただでいい席に坐れたのである。學校から歸るとすぐ、私は柔い着物と着換へ、端に小さい鉛筆をむすびつけた細い銀鎖を帶に吊りさげて芝居小屋へ走つた。生れて始めて歌舞伎といふものを知つたのであるし、私は興奮して、狂言を見てゐる間も幾度となく涙を流した。その興行が濟んでから、私は弟や親類の子らを集めて一座を作り自分で芝居をやつて見た。私は前からこんな催物が好きで、下男や女中たちを集めては、昔話を聞かせたり、幻燈や活動寫眞を映して見せたりしたものである。そのときには、「山中鹿之助」と「鳩の家」と「かつぽれ」と三つの狂言を並べた。山中鹿之助が谷河の岸の或る茶店で、早川鮎之助といふ家來を得る條を或る少年雜誌から拔き取つて、それを私が脚色した。拙者は山中鹿之助と申すものであるが、——といふ長い言葉を歌舞伎の七五調に直すのに苦心をした。

My grandmother was hard on me. When the Jakusaburo Troupe from Tokyo opened in the village theater, I never missed a performance. My father build that theater, and I could sit there and watch for free forever. When I got home from school, I immediately changed into a comfortable kimono, hung a fine silver chain attached to a small pencil on my obi sash, and ran to the theater. This was the first time I learned about kabuki. I was excited and tears flowed countless times while I watched. After the performance, I gathered my younger brother and other young relatives to create a theater group and put on our own play. I've always loved this kind of entertainment. I gathered the manservants and maids to listen to old tales or to watch pictures using a magic lantern or moving pictures. One time, I arranged for the three performances of Yamanaka Shikanosuke, Hato no Ie (The Pigeon's House), and a Kappore comic dance. I dramatised a story I lifted from a boys' magazine about Yamanaka Shikanosuke encountering his follower called Hayakawa Ayunosuke at a tea shop on the banks of a valley river. I played Yamanaka Shikanosuke but took great pains to turn the long words into the seven-and-five syllabic meter of kabuki.

「鳩の家」は私がなんべん繰り返して讀んでも必ず涙の出た長篇小説で、その中でも殊に哀れな所を二幕に仕上げたものであつた。「かつぽれ」は雀三郎一座がおしまひの幕の時、いつも樂屋總出でそれを踊つたものだから、私もそれを踊ることにしたのである。五六にち稽古して愈々その日、文庫藏《ぶんこぐら》のまへの廣い廊下を舞臺にして、小さい引幕などをこしらへた。晝のうちからそんな準備をしてゐたのだが、その引幕の針金に祖母が顎をひつかけて了つた。祖母は、此の針金でわたしを殺すつもりか、河原乞食の眞似糞はやめろ、と言つて私たちをののしつた。それでもその晩はやはり下男や女中たちを十人ほど集めてその芝居をやつてみせたが、祖母の言葉を考へると私の胸は重くふさがつた。私は山中鹿之助や「鳩の家」の男の子の役をつとめ、かつぽれも踊つたけれど少しも氣乘りがせずたまらなく淋しかつた。そののちも私はときどき「牛盜人」や「皿屋敷」や「俊徳丸」などの芝居をやつたが、祖母はその都度にがにがしげにしてゐた。

The Pigeon's House is a long novel I've read many times and am always brought to tears. A particularly sorrowful part is the end of the second act. In Kappore, the Jakusaburo Troupe always danced all out backstage after the final curtain, and I danced, too. We rehearsed for five or six days and staged the performances in the wide corridor to the library. We set up a small stage curtain. We made the preparations during the day. But my grandmother's chin was snagged by the wire for drawing back the curtain. She accused us of trying to kill her with the wire and told us to stop acting like filthy riverbank actors. Nevertheless, that night, we gathered a dozen or so manservants and maids to watch our play. But when I thought about my grandmother's words, my heart was overwhelmed. I played the boy in Yamanaka Shikanosuke and The Pigeon's House and danced the Kappore but despaired when I was unable to be enthusiastic. Sometimes, I put on plays like Ushinusubito (The Cow Thief), Sarayashiki (The Dish Mansion), and Shuntokumaru. And each time my grandmother was disgusted.

 私は祖母を好いてはゐなかつたが、私の眠られない夜には祖母を有難く思ふことがあつた。私は小學三四年のころから不眠症にかかつて、夜の二時になつても三時になつても眠れないで、よく寢床のなかで泣いた。寢る前に砂糖をなめればいいとか、時計のかちかちを數へろとか、水で兩足を冷せとか、ねむのきの葉を枕のしたに敷いて寢るといいとか、さまざまの眠る工夫をうちの人たちから教へられたが、あまり效目がなかつたやうである。私は苦勞性であつて、いろんなことをほじくり返して氣にするものだから、尚のこと眠れなかつたのであらう。父の鼻眼鏡をこつそりいぢくつて、ぽきつとその硝子を割つてしまつたときには、幾夜もつづけて寢苦しい思ひをした。一軒置いて隣りの小間物屋では書物類もわづか賣つてゐて、ある日私は、そこで婦人雜誌の口繪などを見てゐたが、そのうちの一枚で黄色い人魚の水彩畫が欲しくてならず、盜まうと考へて靜かに雜誌から切り離してゐたら、そこの若主人に、治《をさ》こ、治《をさ》こ、と見とがめられ、その雜誌を音高く店の疊に投げつけて家まで飛んではしつて來たことがあつたけれど、さういふやりそこなひもまた私をひどく眠らせなかつた。

I didn't like my grandmother but I appreciated her on nights I couldn't sleep. From the third or fourth grade in grammar school, I had trouble sleeping. At two or even three at night, I could not sleep and often cried in bed. People suggested various sleeping cures: licking salt before going to bed, or counting the ticks of the clock, or cooling my feet with water, or laying the leaves of a silk tree on my pillow. Sadly, they had no effect. I was distressed and sleeping was not simple because I worried repeatedly about various matters. Once I was fiddling with my father's eyeglasses and cracked the lens. I remember having trouble sleeping for several nights. I often went to buy a few books at the small haberdashery next door. One day, I looked at the frontispiece of a woman's magazine and wanted the watercolor painting of a yellow mermaid on the page and thought about stealing it. If I quietly ripped the page from the magazine, the young owner would curse that kid Osamu and hurl that magazine with a bang to the store's tatami floor and come flying to my house and glare at me over that botched job.

私は又、寢床の中で火事の恐怖に理由なく苦しめられた。此の家が燒けたら、と思ふと眠るどころではなかつたのである。いつかの夜、私が寢しなに厠へ行つたら、その厠と廊下ひとつ隔てた眞暗い帳場の部屋で、書生がひとりして活動寫眞をうつしてゐた。白熊の、氷の崖から海へ飛び込む有樣が、部屋の襖へマツチ箱ほどの大きさでちらちら映つてゐたのである。私はそれを覗いて見て、書生のさういふ心持が堪らなく悲しく思はれた。床に就いてからも、その活動寫眞のことを考へると胸がどきどきしてならぬのだ。書生の身の上を思つたり、また、その映寫機のフヰルムから發火して大事になつたらどうしようとそのことが心配で心配で、その夜はあけがた近くになる迄まどろむ事が出來なかつたのである。祖母を有難く思ふのはこんな夜であつた。

I fretted without reason over fires breaking out while I slept. I didn't sleep while pondering what if this house caught fire. Several nights, I went to the toilet before going to bed. In the pitchblack office separated by one hallway from the toilet, a houseboy was alone watching a moving picture. It was a polar bear flying off an ice cliff and into the sea. The movie flickered greatly like a matchbox inside the room. I peeked in and thought the houseboy felt unbearable sadness. From bed, my heart thumped when I thought about that moving picture. I thought about the houseboy's future and worried and worried about what would happen if the film in the projector caught fire. I couldn't doze off that night until dawn neared. I appreciated my grandmother on nights like that.

 まづ、晩の八時ごろ女中が私を寢かして呉れて、私の眠るまではその女中も私の傍に寢ながら附いてゐなければならなかつたのだが、私は女中を氣の毒に思ひ、床につくとすぐ眠つたふりをするのである。女中がこつそり私の床から脱け出るのを覺えつつ、私は睡眠できるやうひたすら念じるのである。十時頃まで床のなかで轉輾してから、私はめそめそ泣き出して起き上る。その時分になると、うちの人は皆寢てしまつてゐて、祖母だけが起きてゐるのだ。祖母は夜番の爺と、臺所の大きい圍爐裏を挾んで話をしてゐる。私はたんぜんを着たままその間にはひつて、むつつりしながら彼等の話を聞いてゐるのである。彼等はきまつて村の人々の噂話をしてゐた。或る秋の夜更に、私は彼等のぼそぼそと語り合ふ話に耳傾けてゐると、遠くから蟲おくり祭の太鼓の音がどんどんと響いて來たが、それを聞いて、ああ、まだ起きてゐる人がたくさんあるのだ、とずゐぶん氣強く思つたことだけは忘れずにゐる。

A maid put me to bed around eight in the evening and had to stay by my side until I fell asleep. I felt bad for her and immediately feigned sleep after getting into bed. I remember the maid slipping away from my bed. I had every intention of falling asleep. I tossed and turned in bed until around ten and then whimpered and got up. Almost everyone else in the house was asleep by that time. Only my grandmother was awake. My grandmother talked with the elderly night watchman across the large open hearth in the kitchen. Wearing my quilted kimono, I entered the room and listened to their conversation while sulking. They always gossiped about the villagers. Late one night one fall, while listening to their whispers, I heard the loud bangs of taiko drums of the Mushi Okuri (send off the bugs) Festival echoing from faraway. I never forgot thinking, oh, many people are still awake.

 音に就いて思ひ出す。私の長兄は、そのころ東京の大學にゐたが、暑中休暇になつて歸郷する度毎に、音樂や文學などのあたらしい趣味を田舍へひろめた。長兄は劇を勉強してゐた。或る郷土の雜誌に發表した「奪ひ合ひ」といふ一幕物は、村の若い人たちの間で評判だつた。それを仕上げたとき、長兄は數多くの弟や妹たちにも讀んで聞かせた。皆、判らない判らない、と言つて聞いてゐたが、私には判つた。幕切の、くらい晩だなあ、といふ一言に含まれた詩をさへ理解できた。私はそれに「奪ひ合ひ」でなく「あざみ草」と言ふ題をつけるべきだと考へたので、あとで、兄の書き損じた原稿用紙の隅へ、その私の意見を小さく書いて置いた。兄は多分それに氣が附かなかつたのであらう、題名をかへることなくその儘發表して了つた。

I remember the sounds. In those days, my oldest brother was attending college in Tokyo, but came home every summer vacation. His new interest in music and literature spread to the countryside. He studied plays. A one-act play he wrote called Struggle was published in a local newspaper and gained popularity among the young people in town. When he finished, my oldest brother read it to me and my many brothers and sisters. I heard them say they didn't understand, but I understood. I even understood the verse that included the words, The dark night of the final curtain. I thought the title should be Thistle and not Struggle and wrote my opinion in tiny script in a corner of an original manuscript containing mistakes written by my brother. He probably didn't notice and published it without changing the title.

レコオドもかなり集めてゐた。私の父は、うちで何か饗應があると必ず、遠い大きなまちからはるばる藝者を呼んで、私も五つ六つの頃から、そんな藝者たちに抱かれたりした記憶があつて、「むかしむかしそのむかし」だの「あれは紀のくにみかんぶね」だのの唄や踊りを覺えてゐるのである。さういふことから、私は兄のレコオドの洋樂よりも邦樂の方に早くなじんだ。ある夜、私が寢てゐると、兄の部屋からいい音《ね》が漏れて來たので、枕から頭をもたげて耳をすました。あくる日、私は朝早く起き兄の部屋へ行つて手當り次第あれこれとレコオドを掛けて見た。そしてたうとう私は見つけた。前夜、私を眠らせぬほど興奮させたそのレコオドは、蘭蝶だつた。

This brother also had a huge record collection. My father was always holding banquets at our home and summoned geisha from far away. From the time I was five or six years old, I remember being hugged by those geisha and their dancing as they sang "Mukashi, mukashi, sono mukashi…" (long ago, long ago, so very long ago) or "Are wa ki no kuni mikan bune…" (that's a ship of oranges from Kinokuni). Saying that, I became familiar with Japanese music before Western music from my older brothers' records. One evening, when I was sleeping, wonderful sounds slipped in from my brothers' room and I raised my head from the pillow. The following day, I woke up early and went to my brothers' room and randomly put on records to listen. I finally found it. The record that got me so excited the previous night I couldn't sleep was Ranchou (orchid butterfly).

 私はけれども長兄より次兄に多く親しんだ。次兄は東京の商業學校を優等で出て、そのまま歸郷し、うちの銀行に勤めてゐたのである。次兄も亦うちの人たちに冷く取扱はれてゐた。私は、母や祖母が、いちばん惡いをとこは私で、そのつぎに惡いのは次兄だ、と言つてゐるのを聞いた事があるので、次兄の不人氣もその容貌がもとであらうと思つてゐた。なんにも要らない、をとこ振りばかりでもよく生れたかつた、なあ治、と半分は私をからかふやうに呟いた次兄の冗談口を私は記憶してゐる。しかし私は次兄の顏をよくないと本心から感じたことが一度もないのだ。あたまも兄弟のうちではいい方《はう》だと信じてゐる。次兄は毎日のやうに酒を呑んで祖母と喧嘩した。私はそのたんびひそかに祖母を憎んだ。

Although I was closer to my second oldest brother than the oldest one, the second oldest brother graduated from a business school in Tokyo with honors and returned home to work in our bank. My second oldest brother was treated coldly by the others in our family. I heard that my mother and grandmother said I was the worst one followed by my second oldest brother. The source of his unpopularity was probably his looks. I recall that brother jokingly grumble like he was half making fun of me when he said, "You know, Osamu, I wanted to be born a useless but good-looking man." However, I never noticed anything wrong with my brother's looks. I also believe he is the smartest of all the brothers. This brother drank sake every day and quarrelled with our grandmother. Each time I hid my hatred of this grandmother.

 末の兄と私とはお互ひに反目してゐた。私は色々な祕密を此の兄に握られてゐたので、いつもけむつたかつた。それに、末の兄と私の弟とは、顏のつくりが似て皆から美しいとほめられてゐたし、私は此のふたりに上下から壓迫されるやうな氣がしてたまらなかつたのである。その兄が東京の中學に行つて、私はやうやくほつとした。弟は、末子で優しい顏をしてゐたから父にも母にも愛された。私は絶えず弟を嫉妬してゐて、ときどきなぐつては母に叱られ、母をうらんだ。私が十《とを》か十一のころのことと思ふ。私のシヤツや襦袢の縫目へ胡麻をふり撒いたやうにしらみがたかつた時など、弟がそれを鳥渡笑つたといふので、文字通り弟を毆り倒した。けれども私は矢張り心配になつて、弟の頭に出來たいくつかの瘤へ不可飮《ふかいん》といふ藥をつけてやつた。

The brother right before me and I were hostile to each other. He clung to various secrets about me, which made me uncomfortable. Also, this older brother and my younger brother were both praised for their good looks. I couldn't stand the pressure I felt from above and below from those two. I finally felt relief when this older brother went to middle school in Tokyo. As the youngest child, my younger brother with his cute face was adored by our mother and father. I never stopped being jealous of him and hit him from time to time only to be scolded by my mother. I resented her. I think I was ten or eleven when my white shirts and undershirts grayed like sesame seeds had been sprinkled in their seams, my younger brother laughed a little so I beat him up. Of course, I became worried and applied some undrinkable medicine to several bumps that raised on his head.

 私は姉たちには可愛がられた。いちばん上の姉は死に、次の姉は嫁ぎ、あとの二人の姉はそれぞれ違ふまちの女學校へ行つてゐた。私の村には汽車がなかつたので、三里ほど離れた汽車のあるまちと往き來するのに、夏は馬車、冬は橇、春の雪解けの頃や秋のみぞれの頃は歩くより他なかつたのである。姉たちは橇に醉ふので、冬やすみの時も歩いて歸つた。私はそのつどつど村端れの材木が積まれてあるところまで迎へに出たのである。日がとつぷり暮れても道は雪あかりで明るいのだ。やがて隣村の森のかげから姉たちの提燈《ちやうちん》がちらちら現れると、私は、おう、と大聲あげて兩手を振つた。

My older sisters adored me. But my oldest sister died. The next sister married. And the other two attended girls' schools in different towns. Because our town didn't have a train, they lived and commuted from a town with a train a little over seven miles away. They traveled by horse-drawn carriage in the summer, by sleigh in the winter, and had no choice but to walk during the snowmelt in the spring and sleet in the fall. During winter vacations, my sisters walked home because they got sick riding sleighs. At those times, I went out to meet them at the edge of the village where lumber was piled up. Even on clear days, the streets were bright from the snow. When I spotted my sisters' lantern light shining from the shadows of the forests of the neighboring village, I hollered through cupped hands, "Ho!"

 上の姉の學校は下の姉の學校よりも小さいまちにあつたので、お土産も下の姉のそれに較べていつも貧しげだつた。いつか上の姉が、なにもなくてえ、と顏を赤くして言ひつつ線香花火を五束《いつたば》六束《むたば》バスケツトから出して私に與へたが、私はそのとき胸をしめつけられる思ひがした。此の姉も亦きりやうがわるいとうちの人たちからいはれいはれしてゐたのである。

My oldest sister went to school in a smaller town than the younger one and always had shabbier gifts than the younger one. With red cheeks, my oldest sister once said, "It's nothing," and took out five or six baskets of toy fireworks and gave them to me. I thought my chest tightened that time. Everyone in my family said this sister was awkward.

 上の姉は女學校へはひるまでは、曾祖母とふたりで離座敷に寢起してゐたものだから、曾祖母の娘だとばかり私は思つてゐたほどであつた。曾祖母は私が小學校を卒業する頃なくなつたが、白い着物を着せられ小さくかじかんだ曾祖母の姿を納棺の際ちらと見た私は、この姿がこののちながく私の眼にこびりついたらどうしようと心配した。

Until my oldest sister went off to the girls' school, our great-grandmother and she stayed together in a room detached from the main house. I thought she was my great-grandmother's daughter. My great-grandmother died around the time I graduated from grammar school. When I peeked at my shrunken, motionless great-grandmother dressed in a white kimono, I worried the sight of her would be stuck in my eyes for a long time.

 私は程なく小學校を卒業したが、からだが弱いからと言ふので、うちの人たちは私を高等小學校に一年間だけ通はせることにした。からだが丈夫になつたら中學へいれてやる、それも兄たちのやうに東京の學校では健康に惡いから、もつと田舍の中學へいれてやる、と父が言つてゐた。私は中學校へなどそれほど入りたくなかつたのだけれどそれでも、からだが弱くて殘念に思ふ、と綴方へ書いて先生たちの同情を強ひたりしてゐた。

A little later, I graduated from grammar school. My family said my body was weak and sent me to the higher grammar school for only one year. If my body strengthened, I would go to middle school. My father said I would be enrolled in a local middle school because my older brothers' health deteriorated when they went to Tokyo to attend school. Although I didn't really want to go to middle school, I wrote that I thought it would be unfortunate if my body weakened; this increased the sympathy from my teachers.

 この時分には、私の村にも町制が敷かれてゐたが、その高等小學校は私の町と附近の五六ヶ村と共同で出資して作られたものであつて、まちから半里も離れた松林の中に在つた。私は病氣のためにしじゆう學校をやすんでゐたのだけれどその小學校の代表者だつたので、他村からの優等生がたくさん集る高等小學校でも一番になるやう努めなければいけなかつたのである。しかし私はそこでも相變らず勉強をしなかつた。いまに中學生に成るのだ、といふ私の自矜が、その高等小學校を汚く不愉快に感じさせてゐたのだ。私は授業中おもに連續の漫畫をかいた。休憩時間になると、聲色《こわいろ》をつかつてそれを生徒たちへ説明してやつた。そんな漫畫をかいた手帖が四五册もたまつた。机に頬杖ついて教室の外の景色をぼんやり眺めて一時間を過すこともあつた。

During this time, a town administration was being established in my village, too. That higher grammar school was created through the cooperation and funding of five or six nearby villages and located in a pine forest about one mile from my village. Although I always missed school due to illness, I was the representative of that school and had to work hard to be the best because the higher grammar school gathered the best students from the other towns. As usual, however, I did not study. My conceit in becoming a middle school student would give me the unpleasant feeling of sullying the higher grammar school. I mainly wrote manga during class. When vacations came, I narrated them to the students in different voices. I filled four or five notebooks with my manga. I spent the hour staring at the scenery outside while resting my chin on my hands on the desk.

私は硝子窓の傍に座席をもつてゐたが、その窓の硝子板には蠅がいつぴき押しつぶされてながいことねばりついたままでゐて、それが私の視野の片隅にぼんやりと大きくはひつて來ると、私には雉か山鳩かのやうに思はれ、幾たびとなく驚かされたものであつた。私を愛してゐる五六人の生徒たちと一緒に授業を逃げて、松林の裏にある沼の岸邊に寢ころびつつ、女生徒の話をしたり、皆で着物をまくつてそこにうつすり生えそめた毛を較べ合つたりして遊んだのである。

My seat was beside a window. I smashed a fly against the window glass; it was stuck there for a long time. Many times it entered a corner of my field of view, and I was surprised and thought it was a pheasant or a turtledove. I'd skip class with the five or six students who loved me. We lay down on the shore of a marsh in the back of the pine forest and talked about girls. We hiked up our kimonos to compare the fuzz growing there.

 その學校は男と女の共學であつたが、それでも私は自分から女生徒に近づいたことなどなかつた。私は欲情がはげしいから、懸命にそれをおさへ、女にもたいへん臆病になつてゐた。私はそれまで、二人三人の女の子から思はれたが、いつでも知らない振りをして來たのだつた。帝展の入選畫帳を父の本棚から持ち出しては、その中にひそめられた白い畫に頬をほてらせて眺めいつたり、私の飼つてゐたひとつがひの兎にしばしば交尾させ、その雄兎の脊中をこんもりと丸くする容姿に胸をときめかせたり、そんなことで私はこらへてゐた。私は見え坊であつたから、あの、あんまをさへ誰にも打ちあけなかつた。その害を本で讀んで、それをやめようとさまざまな苦心をしたが、駄目であつた。そのうちに私はそんな遠い學校へ毎日あるいてかよつたお陰で、からだも太つて來た。額の邊にあはつぶのやうな小さい吹出物がでてきた。之も恥かしく思つた。私はそれへ寶丹膏《はうたんかう》といふ藥を眞赤に塗つた。長兄はそのとし結婚して、祝言の晩に私と弟とはその新しい嫂の部屋へ忍んで行つたが、嫂は部屋の入口を脊にして坐つて髮を結はせてゐた。私は鏡に映つた花嫁のほのじろい笑顏をちらと見るなり、弟をひきずつて逃げ歸つた。そして私は、たいしたもんでねえでば! と力こめて強がりを言つた。藥で赤い私の額のためによけい氣もひけて、尚のことこんな反撥をしたのであつた。

Both boys and girls attended that school, and I had not approached any girl student. I was quite horny but suppressed it with all my strength and was frightened of the girls. I was liked by two or three of them but always pretended not to notice. I took a book off my father's bookcase of selected paintings from an art exhibition at the Imperial Academy and stared at a particular drawing hidden inside that was so white I squinted and my cheeks reddened. I made a pet rabbit of mine copulate often. That buck rabbit's back rounded and his heart beat fast. That's how I endured. As a vain man, I never confessed to anyone, not even a masseur. I read about that damage in a book and took great pains to stop, but it was useless. I walked every day to that distant school but got fat. A small eruption like a grainy bubble appeared on my forehead. It embarrassed me. I painted it red with a Chinese medicine called Houtankou. My oldest brother married that year. On the wedding night, my younger brother and I snuck into our new sister-in-law's room. She sat with her back to the entrance to the room to have her hair tied back. I glimpsed her smiling, pale face and dragged my brother away and escaped home. I bluffed as best I could when I said, "It's not important!" My face reddened by the medicine made me self-conscious and even more rebellious.

 冬ちかくなつて、私も中學校への受驗勉強を始めなければいけなくなつた。私は雜誌の廣告を見て、東京へ色々の參考書を注文した。けれども、それを本箱に並べただけで、ちつとも讀まなかつた。私の受驗することになつてゐた中學校は、縣でだいいちのまちに在つて、志願者も二三倍は必ずあつたのである。私はときどき落第の懸念に襲はれた。そんな時には私も勉強をした。そして一週間もつづけて勉強すると、すぐ及第の確信がついて來るのだ。勉強するとなると、夜十二時ちかくまで床につかないで、朝はたいてい四時に起きた。勉強中は、たみといふ女中を傍に置いて、火をおこさせたり茶をわかさせたりした。たみは、どんなにおそくまで宵つぱりしても翌る朝は、四時になると必ず私を起しに來た。私が算術の鼠が子を産む應用問題などに困らされてゐる傍で、たみはおとなしく小説本を讀んでゐた。あとになつて、たみの代りに年とつた肥えた女中が私へつくやうになつたが、それが母のさしがねである事を知つた私は、母のその底意を考へて顏をしかめた。

Winter was coming, and I had to begin studying for the middle school entrance exam. I saw an ad in a magazine and ordered a variety of reference books from Tokyo. However, I only arranged them on the bookshelf and never read any of them. The middle school where I took the entrance exam for was located in the premier town of the prefecture and had two or three times more applicants than the other schools. From time to time, I was attacked by fears of failing. In those moments, I studied. After a week of studying, I was confident I would pass. When I studied, I didn't go to bed until close to midnight and woke up around four in the morning. A maid named Tami stayed by my side while I studied to light the fire and make tea. No matter how late the night, Tami would always come to wake me up at four. I don't have a head for math and when I had trouble with "a mouse had a baby" math problems, Tami quietly read a novel beside me. Later one, an older, stout maid replaced Tami and attended to me but I knew my mother was behind her being there and grimaced at her ulterior motive.

 その翌春、雪のまだ深く積つてゐた頃、私の父は東京の病院で血を吐いて死んだ。ちかくの新聞社は父の訃を號外で報じた。私は父の死よりも、かういふセンセイシヨンの方に興奮を感じた。遺族の名にまじつて私の名も新聞に出てゐた。父の死骸は大きい寢棺に横たはり橇に乘つて故郷へ歸つて來た。私は大勢のまちの人たちと一緒に隣村近くまで迎へに行つた。やがて森の蔭から幾臺となく續いた橇の幌が月光を受けつつ滑つて出て來たのを眺めて私は美しいと思つた。

The following spring, while the snow was still piled high, my father coughed up blood and died in a hospital in Tokyo. A local newspaper reported on my father's death in a special edition. Since his death, I was agitated by the sensation of it all. My name appeared in the newspaper mixed in with the names of the bereaved family. My father's corpse was laid in a large coffin, placed on a sleigh, and returned home. I went with many townspeople to a nearby village. I gazed at the hoods of a number of sleighs slipping out from the shadow of the forest under the moonlight and was transfixed.

 つぎの日、私のうちの人たちは父の寢棺の置かれてある佛間に集つた。棺の蓋が取りはらはれるとみんな聲をたてて泣いた。父は眠つてゐるやうであつた。高い鼻筋がすつと青白くなつてゐた。私は皆の泣聲を聞き、さそはれて涙を流した。

The next day, the people in my house gathered in the altar room where my father's coffin lay. When they removed the lid from the coffin, a weeping voice rose from everyone. My father seemed to be sleeping. The high bridge of his nose was pale. Hearing everyone crying made my tears flow.

 私の家はそのひとつきもの間、火事のやうな騷ぎであつた。私はその混雜にまぎれて、受驗勉強を全く怠つたのである。高等小學校の學年試驗にも殆ど出鱈目な答案を作つて出した。私の成績は全體の三番かそれくらゐであつたが、これは明らかに受持訓導の私のうちに對する遠慮からであつた。私はそのころ既に記憶力の減退を感じてゐて、したしらべでもして行かないと試驗には何も書けなかつたのである。私にとつてそんな經驗は始めてであつた。

For a month, my house was in a tumult like a fire had broken out. I was caught up in the confusion and failed to study for my entrance exam. I made up mostly nonsense answers for the annual tests at my higher grammar school. I passed and came in third. Evidently, this was kept from my family by the teacher-in-charge. At that time, I already felt a weakening of my memory. I didn't take the preliminary exam and was unable to write anything on the test. That was my first experience of that sort.

 いい成績ではなかつたが、私はその春、中學校へ受驗して合格をした。私は、新しい袴と黒い沓下とあみあげの靴をはき、いままでの毛布をよして羅紗のマントを洒落者らしくボタンをかけずに前をあけたまま羽織つて、その海のある小都會へ出た。そして私のうちと遠い親戚にあたるそのまちの呉服店で旅裝を解いた。入口にちぎれた古いのれんをさげてあるその家へ、私はずつと世話になることになつてゐたのである。

Two

My grades weren't good, but that spring, I passed the entrance exam to middle school. I dressed in new hakama trousers, black socks, and lace-up shoes. I replaced the blanket I had been using with a cloak stylishly left unbuttoned and open in front to travel to the small city on the sea. I took off my traveling clothes at a dry goods shop in town as a guest of distant relatives. At that shop with the old noren curtain falling off at the entrance, they took good care of me.

 私は何ごとにも有頂天になり易い性質を持つてゐるが、入學當時は錢湯へ行くのにも學校の制帽を被り、袴をつけた。そんな私の姿が往來の窓硝子にでも映ると、私は笑ひながらそれへ輕く會釋をしたものである。

By nature, I easily become enthusiastic about anything. After I started school, I'd put on my school cap and hakama trousers to go to the public bath. When I saw my reflection in the window glass along the way, I smiled and gave myself a slight bow.

 それなのに、學校はちつとも面白くなかつた。校舍は、まちの端れにあつて、しろいペンキで塗られ、すぐ裏は海峽に面したひらたい公園で、浪の音や松のざわめきが授業中でも聞えて來て、廊下も廣く教室の天井も高くて、私はすべてにいい感じを受けたのだが、そこにゐる教師たちは私をひどく迫害したのである。

However, school wasn't the least bit interesting. The school campus was at the edge of town, and the buildings were painted white. Right behind the school was a flat park facing the strait. I could hear the sounds of the waves and the rustling pine trees during class. The halls were wide, and the classroom ceilings were high. All of that made me feel good, but the teachers persecuted me.

 私は入學式の日から、或る體操の教師にぶたれた。私が生意氣だといふのであつた。この教師は入學試驗のとき私の口答試問の係りであつたが、お父さんがなくなつてよく勉強もできなかつたらう、と私に情ふかい言葉をかけて呉れ、私もうなだれて見せたその人であつただけに、私のこころはいつそう傷けられた。そののちも私は色んな教師にぶたれた。にやにやしてゐるとか、あくびをしたとか、さまざまな理由から罰せられた。授業中の私のあくびが大きいので職員室で評判である、とも言はれた。私はそんな莫迦げたことを話し合つてゐる職員室を、をかしく思つた。

Beginning the day of the school entrance ceremony, I was belted by some phys ed teacher. He said I was a smart-aleck. This teacher was in charge of my oral exam when I took the entrance exam. He was kind to me and said I probably hadn't been able to study well because my father had died. I only hung my head. My heart hurt because he was the lone compassionate teacher. Later, I was smacked by various teachers. They'd punish me for a variety of reasons, among them were grinning and yawning. I was told the teachers concluded in the staff room that I yawned too much during class. I found it strange they discussed such nonsense in the staff room.

 私と同じ町から來てゐる一人の生徒が、或る日、私を校庭の砂山の陰に呼んで、君の態度はじつさい生意氣さうに見える、あんなに毆られてばかりゐると落第するにちがひない、と忠告して呉れた。私は愕然とした。その日の放課後、私は海岸づたひにひとり家路を急いだ。靴底を浪になめられつつ溜息ついて歩いた。洋服の袖で額の汗を拭いてゐたら、鼠色のびつくりするほど大きい帆がすぐ眼の前をよろよろととほつて行つた。

One day, a student who came from my hometown called me over to the shadows of the sand dunes on campus. He warned me that my attitude came off as cocky and would inevitably lead to beatings. I was astonished. After classes were dismissed that day, I rushed home along the shore and sighed as I walked as waves licked the soles of my shoes. As I wiped the sweat off my forehead with the sleeve of my Western-style uniform, a surprisingly large gray sail passed unsteadily before my eyes.

 私は散りかけてゐる花瓣であつた。すこしの風にもふるへをののいた。人からどんな些細なさげすみを受けても死なん哉と悶えた。私は、自分を今にきつとえらくなるものと思つてゐたし、英雄としての名譽をまもつて、たとひ大人の侮りにでも容赦できなかつたのであるから、この落第といふ不名譽も、それだけ致命的であつたのである。その後の私は兢兢として授業を受けた。授業を受けながらも、この教室のなかには眼に見えぬ百人の敵がゐるのだと考へて、少しも油斷をしなかつた。朝、學校へ出掛けしなには、私の机の上へトランプを並べて、その日いちにちの運命を占つた。ハアトは大吉であつた。ダイヤは半吉、クラブは半凶、スペエドは大凶であつた。そしてその頃は、來る日も來る日もスペエドばかり出たのである。

I felt scattered like flower petals. I shivered when the wind blew a little. I suffered a sort of death if anyone showed me the slightest contempt. I thought I was extraordinary at that time and protected my reputation as a great man. Because of my inability to overlook being underestimated by adults, only the dishonor of failure was fatal. After that, I attended class with great trepidation. During class, I thought a hundred unseen enemies were in the classroom and I could not be the least bit careless. Just before leaving home each morning, I arranged playing cards on top of my desk to tell my fortune for the day. Hearts meant excellent luck. Diamonds meant fairly good luck. Clubs meant somewhat bad luck. Spades meant very bad luck. Around that time, only spades came up day after day.

 それから間もなく試驗が來たけれど、私は博物でも地理でも修身でも、教科書の一字一句をそのまま暗記して了ふやうに努めた。これは私のいちかばちかの潔癖から來てゐるのであらうが、この勉強法は私の爲によくない結果を呼んだ。私は勉強が窮屈でならなかつたし、試驗の際も、融通がきかなくて、殆ど完璧に近いよい答案を作ることもあれば、つまらぬ一字一句につまづいて、思索が亂れ、ただ意味もなしに答案用紙を汚してゐる場合もあつたのである。

Exams were coming soon, and I pushed myself to memorize the textbooks verbatim whether they were natural history, geography, or ethics. This may come from my sink-or-swim fastidiousness. However, this way of studying attracted bad results for me. My studying was not very strict. During a test, if I were inflexible and created good, nearly perfect answers, stumbles in the boring memorization and errors in thought led to a meaninglesly sullied answer sheet.

 しかし私の第一學期の成績はクラスの三番であつた。操行も甲であつた。落第の懸念に苦しまされてゐた私は、その通告簿を片手に握つて、もう一方の手で靴を吊り下げたまま、裏の海岸まではだしで走つた。嬉しかつたのである。

After the semester ended and I returned home for the first time, I thought my younger brother at home would be eager to hear my brilliant description of my brief experience in middle school. I crammed everything I had worn over the past three or four months and my seating cushion into my wicker suitcase.

 馬車にゆられながら隣村の森を拔けると、幾里四方もの青田の海が展開して、その青田の果てるあたりに私のうちの赤い大屋根が聳えてゐた。私はそれを眺めて十年も見ない氣がした。

When the swaying horse-drawn carriage slipped out of the forest of the neighboring village, a green sea of cultivated paddy fields surrounded me for miles on all sides. The large red roof of my house soared near the end of the paddy fields. I felt like I had not seen this place in ten years.

 私はその休暇のひとつきほど得意な氣持でゐたことがない。私は弟たちへ中學校のことを誇張して夢のやうに物語つた。その小都會の有樣をも、つとめて幻妖に物語つたのである。

I had no special feelings about that month of vacation. I boasted about my middle school to my little brother and spoke like it was a dream. To the best of my ability, I gave a confused description of the circumstances of the small city.

 私は風景をスケツチしたり昆蟲の採集をしたりして、野原や谷川をはしり※[#「廴+囘」、第4水準2-12-11]つた。水彩畫を五枚ゑがくのと珍らしい昆蟲の標本を十種あつめるのとが、教師に課された休暇中の宿題であつた。私は捕蟲網を肩にかついで、弟にはピンセツトだの毒壺だののはひつた採集鞄を持たせ、もんしろ蝶やばつたを追ひながら一日を夏の野原で過した。夜は庭園で焚火をめらめらと燃やして、飛んで來るたくさんの蟲を網や箒で片つぱしからたたき落した。末の兄は美術學校の塑像科へ入つてゐたが、まいにち中庭の大きい栗の木の下で粘土をいぢくつてゐた。もう女學校を卒へてゐた私のすぐの姉の胸像を作つてゐたのである。私も亦その傍で、姉の顏を幾枚もスケツチして、兄とお互ひの出來上り案配をけなし合つた。姉は眞面目に私たちのモデルになつてゐたが、そんな場合おもに私の水彩畫の方の肩を持つた。この兄は若いときはみんな天才だ、などと言つて、私のあらゆる才能を莫迦にしてゐた。私の文章をさへ、小學生の綴方、と言つて嘲つてゐた。私もその當時は、兄の藝術的な力をあからさまに輕蔑してゐたのである。

I sketched landscapes, collected insects, and ran around the fields and along the mountain streams. I collected ten samples of amazing insects and made watercolor paintings of them on five sheets of paper. That was my vacation homework assigned by the teacher. I carried a butterfly net on my shoulder, had my little brother hold the collection bag containing the tweezers and the poison pot, and spent the summer days chasing cabbage butterflies and grasshoppers. At night, a bonfire burned bright and I knocked down the many insects that came flying in one after another. The brother just above me enrolled in a sculpture course at an art school, and everyday he fiddled with clay under the huge chestnut tree in the courtyard. He made a bust of my sister ahead of me who graduated from a girls' school. From the side, I sketched her face on several sheets of paper. My brother and I disparaged each other's finished work. Our sister became a serious model and on those occasions supported my watercolors. They said this brother was a genius in everything when young. All of my talents were made fun of. They mocked by grammar school compositions, even my sentences. At that time, I simply ridiculed my brother's artistic ability.

 ある晩、その兄が私の寢てゐるところへ來て、治、珍動物だよ、と聲を低くして言ひながら、しやがんで蚊帳の下から鼻紙に輕く包んだものをそつと入れて寄こした。兄は、私が珍らしい昆蟲を集めてゐるのを知つてゐたのだ。包の中では、かさかさと蟲のもがく足音がしてゐた。私は、そのかすかな音に、肉親の情を知らされた。私が手暴くその小さい紙包をほどくと、兄は、逃げるぜえ、そら、そら、と息をつめるやうにして言つた。見ると普通のくはがたむしであつた。私はその鞘翅類をも私の採集した珍昆蟲十種のうちにいれて教師へ出した。

One night, he came to where I slept and whispered in my ear, "Osamu, this is a rare creature." He squatted down and gently inserted something wrapped in tissue paper under the mosquito net. My brother knew I collected amazing insects. Inside the wrapping, the struggling legs of an insect made a rustling sound. I understood the love of family in that rustling sound. When I opened the small paper wrapping, my brother said like he was holding his breath, "Run. Ah! Eeyah!" I looked and only saw an ordinary stag beetle. I added this beetle to my collection among the ten species of amazing insects and gave it to the teacher.

 休暇が終りになると私は悲しくなつた。故郷をあとにし、その小都會へ來て、呉服商の二階で獨りして行李をあけた時には、私はもう少しで泣くところであつた。私は、そんな淋しい場合には、本屋へ行くことにしてゐた。そのときも私は近くの本屋へ走つた。そこに並べられたかずかずの刊行物の背を見ただけでも、私の憂愁は不思議に消えるのだ。その本屋の隅の書棚には、私の欲しくても買へない本が五六册あつて、私はときどき、その前へ何氣なささうに立ち止つては膝をふるはせながらその本の頁を盜み見たものだけれど、しかし私が本屋へ行くのは、なにもそんな醫學じみた記事を讀むためばかりではなかつたのである。その當時私にとつて、どんな本でも休養と慰安であつたからである。

I was saddened by the end of vacation. I left my hometown and went to the small city. When I brought my wicker luggage alone to the second floor of the dry goods shop, I was already crying a little. When I felt that sadness, I would go to a bookstore. I ran to a nearby bookstore. My melancholy mysteriously lifted by the sight of the spines of the many publications lined up there. On the bookshelf in a corner of that bookstore were five books I would never buy despite wanting them. Sometimes I stopped to stand before them as if summoned by some spirit; my knees trembled, I snuck a peek at the pages of those books. However, I didn't go to the bookstore only to read articles like some sort of medicine. At those times, any book was rest and recreation to me.

 學校の勉強はいよいよ面白くなかつた。白地圖に山脈や港灣や河川を水繪具で記入する宿題などは、なによりも呪はしかつた。私は物事に凝るはうであつたから、この地圖の彩色には三四時間も費やした。歴史なんかも、教師はわざわざノオトを作らせてそれへ講義の要點を書き込めと言ひつけたが、教師の講義は教科書を讀むやうなものであつたから、自然とそのノオトへも教科書の文章をそのまま書き寫すよりほかなかつたのである。私はそれでも成績にみれんがあつたので、そんな宿題を毎日せい出してやつたのである。秋になると、そのまちの中等學校どうしの色色なスポオツの試合が始つた。田舍から出て來た私は、野球の試合など見たことさへなかつた。小説本で、滿壘《フルベエス》とか、アタツクシヨオトとか、中堅《センタア》とか、そんな用語を覺えてゐただけであつて、やがて其の試合の觀方をおぼえたけれど餘り熱狂できなかつた。野球ばかりでなく、庭球でも、柔道でも、なにか他校と試合のある度に私も應援團の一人として、選手たちに聲援を與へなければならなかつたのであるが、そのことが尚さら中學生生活をいやなものにして了つた。應援團長といふのがあつて、わざと汚い恰好で日の丸の扇子などを持ち、校庭の隅の小高い岡にのぼつて演説をすれば、生徒たちはその團長の姿を、むさい、むさい、と言つて喜ぶのである。試合のときは、ひとゲエムのあひまあひまに團長が扇子をひらひらさせて、オオル・スタンド・アツプと叫んだ。私たちは立ち上つて、紫の小さい三角旗を一齊にゆらゆら振りながら、よい敵よい敵けなげなれども、といふ應援歌をうたふのである。そのことは私にとつて恥しかつた。私は、すきを見ては、その應援から逃げて家へ歸つた。

My school studies were no longer fun. The homework of filling in mountain ranges, harbors and ports, and rivers on a blank map was nothing more than a curse. But I became absorbed in activities and spent three or four hours coloring this map. And for history, the teacher ordered us to keep a notebook to record the important points of the lectures. However, the teacher's lectures could be read in the textbook. Naturally, I copied passages from the textbook into the notebook. Nevertheless, I regretted my grades and worked diligently everyday on that homework. With fall came games of various sports with other middles schools in town. Being from the countryside, I had never even seen a baseball game. I recalled words from novels like bases loaded, attack shot, and center field. I remember watching the game but wasn't very enthused. Not only for baseball, I was required to cheer on the players as a member of the cheering squad for the away games for tennis and judo at other schools. But all of this simply made life in middle school worse. The cheering squad leader was a dirty-looking guy who carried a Hinomaru folding fan. When he climbed up the small hill at the corner of the campus to speak, the students enjoyed saying he looked filthy or mangy. During games, the squad leader waved the fan from time to time and shouted, "Everybody stand up!" We stood and while waving small, purple, triangular flags in unison, chanted our support song, "The enemy's good! The enemy's good! Be brave!" That embarrassed me. I looked for an opening and fled the squad for home.

 しかし、私にもスポオツの經驗がない譯ではなかつたのである。私の顏が蒼黒くて、私はそれを例のあんまの故であると信じてゐたので、人から私の顏色を言はれると、私のその祕密を指摘されたやうにどぎまぎした。私は、どんなにかして血色をよくしたく思ひ、スポオツをはじめたのである。

However, I had no excuse for lacking in experience with sports. My face turned blue black, and I believed that was caused by my customary massage. I got upset when people talked about the color of my complexion like it indicated some secret of mine. I wanted my complexion to improve and began playing sports.

 私はよほど前からこの血色を苦にしてゐたものであつた。小學校四五年のころ、末の兄からデモクラシイといふ思想を聞き、母までデモクラシイのため税金がめつきり高くなつて作米の殆どみんなを税金に取られる、と客たちにこぼしてゐるのを耳にして、私はその思想に心弱くうろたへた。そして、夏は下男たちの庭の草刈に手つだひしたり、冬は屋根の雪おろしに手を貸したりなどしながら、下男たちにデモクラシイの思想を教へた。さうして、下男たちは私の手助けを餘りよろこばなかつたのをやがて知つた。私の刈つた草などは後からまた彼等が刈り直さなければいけなかつたらしいのである。私は下男たちを助ける名の陰で、私の顏色をよくする事をも計つてゐたのであつたが、それほど勞働してさへ私の顏色はよくならなかつたのである。

For a very long time, I was pained by my complexion. Around my forth or fifth year in grammar school, I heard about the concept of democracy from the brother just older than me. Even my mother complained to guests that democracy increased taxes and most of the cultivated rice is taken as tax. I was slightly confused by her ideas. During the summer while I helped the manservants mow the grass in the garden and during the winter while I helped clear snow off the roof, I taught the concept of democracy to the manservants. In the end, I figured out they weren't very happy with my help. After I mowed the grass, they had to mow it again. In the shadow of helping the manservants, I planned to improve my complexion. Despite so much hard work, my complexion did not improve.

 中學校にはひるやうになつてから、私はスポオツに依つていい顏色を得ようと思ひたつて、暑いじぶんには、學校の歸りしなに必ず海へはひつて泳いだ。私は胸泳といつて雨蛙のやうに兩脚をひらいて泳ぐ方法を好んだ。頭を水から眞直に出して泳ぐのだから、波の起伏のこまかい縞目も、岸の青葉も、流れる雲も、みんな泳ぎながらに眺められるのだ。私は龜のやうに頭をすつとできるだけ高くのばして泳いだ。すこしでも顏を太陽に近寄せて、早く日燒がしたいからであつた。

After I entered middle school, I planned to improve my complexion through sports. When it was hot, I always swam in the ocean on the way home from school. I liked swimming the breaststroke where I spread both arms wide like a tree frog. Because my head broke through the water while swimming, I could gaze at the fine stripes of undulating waves, the green leaves on the shore, and the clouds flowing by. I raised my head as high as I could like a turtle and stretched as I swam. I wanted my face to get a little closer to the sun to quickly get sunburned.

 また、私のゐたうちの裏がひろい墓地だつたので、私はそこへ百米の直線コオスを作り、ひとりでまじめに走つた。その墓地はたかいポプラの繁みで圍まれてゐて、はしり疲れると私はそこの卒堵婆の文字などを讀み讀みしながらぶらついた。月穿潭底とか、三界唯一心とかの句をいまでも忘れずにゐる。ある日私は、錢苔《ぜにごけ》のいつぱい生えてゐる黒くしめつた墓石に、寂性清寥居士といふ名前を見つけてかなり心を騷がせ、その墓のまへに新しく飾られてあつた紙の蓮華の白い葉に、おれはいま土のしたで蛆蟲とあそんでゐる、と或る佛蘭西の詩人から暗示された言葉を、泥を含ませた私の人指ゆびでもつて、さも幽靈が記したかのやうにほそぼそとなすり書いて置いた。そのあくる日の夕方、私は運動にとりかかる前に、先づきのふの墓標へお參りしたら、朝の驟雨で亡魂の文字はその近親の誰をも泣かせぬうちに跡かたもなく洗ひさらはれて、蓮華の白い葉もところどころ破れてゐた。

Also, behind the house where I slept was an expansive cemetary. I built a 100-meter, straight running course there and ran the course alone with great determination. The cemetary was surround by tall poplar trees. When I tired from running, I strolled around reading the characters on the stupa shrines of verses I remember to this day, like The moon penetrates the abyss and All three worlds in one mind. One day, I was excited by the discovery of the posthumous name Jakusho Useiryoukoji on a tombstone blackened by moisture and overgrown with liverworts. I used my index finger covered in mud to feebly write, as if scrawled by a ghost, words suggested by a French poet of Now, I am underground playing with the maggots on a paper white lotus flower adorning the front of that tomb. On the following evening, I visited the grave marker I wrote on before starting my exercise. That morning, there had been a sudden shower. A spirit literally caused a relative to cry and cleanse the grave. Not a trace of my writing remaind, and the white lotus flower was torn in places.

 私はそんな事をして遊んでゐたのであつたが、走る事も大變巧くなつたのである。兩脚の筋肉もくりくりと丸くふくれて來た。けれども顏色は、やつぱりよくならなかつたのだ。黒い表皮の底には、濁つた蒼い色が氣持惡くよどんでゐた。

I enjoyed this sort of thing and became adept at running. The muscles in my legs swelled and rounded. But my complexion did not improve. A muddy blue color giving off a creepy impression settled at the base of my dark skin.

 私は顏に興味を持つてゐたのである。讀書にあきると手鏡をとり出し、微笑んだり眉をひそめたり頬杖ついて思案にくれたりして、その表情をあかず眺めた。私は必ずひとを笑はせることの出來る表情を會得した。目を細くして鼻を皺め、口を小さく尖らすと、兒熊のやうで可愛かつたのである。私は不滿なときや當惑したときにその顏をした。私のすぐの姉はそのじぶん、まちの縣立病院の内科へ入院してゐたが、私は姉を見舞ひに行つてその顏をして見せると、姉は腹をおさへて寢臺の上をころげ※[#「廴+囘」、第4水準2-12-11]つた。姉はうちから連れて來た中年の女中とふたりきりで病院に暮してゐたものだから、ずゐぶん淋しがつて、病院の長い廊下をのしのし歩いて來る私の足音を聞くと、もうはしやいでゐた。私の足音は並はづれて高いのだ。私が若し一週間でも姉のところを訪れないと、姉は女中を使つて私を迎ひによこした。私が行かないと、姉の熱は不思議にあがつて容態がよくない、とその女中が眞顏で言つてゐた。

I was interested in my face. When I tired of reading, I took out a handheld mirror, smiled, knitted my eyebrows, rested my chin in my hand, and my thoughts darken. I stared without my face reddening. I found the facial expression always able to make people laugh. When I narrowed my eyes, wrinkle my nose, and narrowed and pout my mouth, I became cute like a bear. When I felt dissatisfied or confused, I made that face. My next older sister was hospitalized in the internal medicine department of the prefectural hospital. When I visited her, she held her stomach as she turned over on the bed to face me. Because my sister lived in the hospital with a middle-aged maid who accompanied her from our home, she was lonely. When she heard my footsteps lazily walking down the long hospital corridor, she became playful. My footsteps were louder than ordinary. I was young and if I hadn't visited for a week, my sister had the maid fetch me. If I didn't go, the maid with a serious look on her face would tell me her temperature is rising and her condition is not good.

 その頃はもう私も十五六になつてゐたし、手の甲には靜脈の青い血管がうつすりと透いて見えて、からだも異樣におもおもしく感じられてゐた。私は同じクラスのいろの黒い小さな生徒とひそかに愛し合つた。學校からの歸りにはきつと二人してならんで歩いた。お互ひの小指がすれあつてさへも、私たちは顏を赤くした。いつぞや、二人で學校の裏道の方を歩いて歸つたら、芹やはこべの青々と伸びてゐる田溝の中にゐもりがいつぴき浮いてゐるのをその生徒が見つけ、默つてそれを掬つて私に呉れた。私は、ゐもりは嫌ひであつたけれど、嬉しさうにはしやぎながらそれを手巾へくるんだ。うちへ持つて歸つて、中庭の小さな池に放した。ゐもりは短い首をふりふり泳ぎ※[#「廴+囘」、第4水準2-12-11]つてゐたが、次の朝みたら逃げて了つてゐなかつた。

Around that time, I was already fifteen or sixteen. The blue veins on the back of my hand seemed faintly transparent. My body also felt strangely ponderous. I shared a secret love with a small, dark-skinned student in the same class. We walked home together from school. When our pinkies grazed, we both blushed. Sometimes we walked home by the back street. The student found a newt floating in a ditch in the field grow over green and blue with dropwort and chickweed and without saying a word, scooped it up and gave it to me. Although I hated newts, I was so happy I wrapped it in my handkerchief. I carried it home and released it in the small lake in the garden. The newt wiggled its small head to swim around. But by the next morning, it had escaped and was gone.

 私はたかい自矜の心を持つてゐたから、私の思ひを相手に打ち明けるなど考へもつかぬことであつた。その生徒へは普段から口もあんまり利かなかつたし、また同じころ隣の家の痩せた女學生をも私は意識してゐたのだが、此の女學生とは道で逢つても、ほとんどその人を莫迦にしてゐるやうにぐつと顏をそむけてやるのである。秋のじぶん、夜中に火事があつて、私も起きて外へ出て見たら、つい近くの社《やしろ》の陰あたりが火の粉をちらして燃えてゐた。社《やしろ》の杉林がその焔を圍ふやうにまつくろく立つて、そのうへを小鳥がたくさん落葉のやうに狂ひ飛んでゐた。私は、隣のうちの門口から白い寢卷の女の子が私の方を見てゐるのを、ちやんと知つてゐながら、横顏だけをそつちにむけてじつと火事を眺めた。焔の赤い光を浴びた私の横顏は、きつときらきら美しく見えるだらうと思つてゐたのである。こんな案配であつたから、私はまへの生徒とでも、また此の女學生とでも、もつと進んだ交渉を持つことができなかつた。けれどもひとりでゐるときには、私はもつと大膽だつた筈である。鏡の私の顏へ、片眼をつぶつて笑ひかけたり、机の上に小刀で薄い唇をほりつけて、それへ私の唇をのせたりした。この唇には、あとで赤いインクを塗つてみたが、妙にどすぐろくなつていやな感じがして來たから、私は小刀ですつかり削りとつて了つた。

I possessed a high level of conceit; therefore, the idea of revealing my thoughts to a companion was foolish. I hardly ever spoke to that student. Around the same time, I noticed the thin female student who lived next door. But when I met her on the street, I'd quickly turn my face away like I was making fun of her. A fire broke out one night during the fall. I woke up and went outside. Sparks flew in the shadow of a nearby shrine. The shrine's cedar forest was pitch black as if engulfed by flames. Many small birds were wildly flying around like fallen leaves. I knew the girl in her white nightclothes was watching me from the gate of her house next door, but I watched the fire making sure she only saw my profile. I believed my face glimmered with beauty as the side of my face was bathed in the red light of the flames. Because of my disposition, I was unable to negotiate further progress with the previous student or this girl student. However, I should have been more courageous when alone. Looking at my smiling face in a mirror with one eye shut, I carved thin lips with a pocketknife on the desktop and placed my lips there. Later, I painted these lips with red ink, but a dark feeling of disgust strangely came over me and I obliterated the lips with the knife.

 私が三年生になつて、春のあるあさ、登校の道すがらに朱で染めた橋のまるい欄干へもたれかかつて、私はしばらくぼんやりしてゐた。橋の下には隅田川に似た廣い川がゆるゆると流れてゐた。全くぼんやりしてゐる經驗など、それまでの私にはなかつたのである。うしろで誰か見てゐるやうな氣がして、私はいつでも何かの態度をつくつてゐたのである。私のいちいちのこまかい仕草にも、彼は當惑して掌を眺めた、彼は耳の裏を掻きながら呟いた、などと傍から傍から説明句をつけてゐたのであるから、私にとつて、ふと、とか、われしらず、とかいふ動作はあり得なかつたのである。橋の上での放心から覺めたのち、私は寂しさにわくわくした。そんな氣持のときには、私もまた、自分の來しかた行末を考へた。橋をかたかた渡りながら、いろんな事を思ひ出し、また夢想した。そして、おしまひに溜息ついてかう考へた。えらくなれるかしら。その前後から、私はこころのあせりをはじめてゐたのである。私は、すべてに就いて滿足し切れなかつたから、いつも空虚なあがきをしてゐた。私には十重二十重の假面がへばりついてゐたので、どれがどんなに悲しいのか、見極めをつけることができなかつたのである。そしてたうとう私は或るわびしいはけ口を見つけたのだ。創作であつた。ここにはたくさんの同類がゐて、みんな私と同じやうに此のわけのわからぬをののきを見つめてゐるやうに思はれたのである。

One spring morning during my third year, I felt lightheaded for a short time on the way to school and grabbed onto the cylindrical handrail stained red. A river wide like the Sumida River was slowly flowing under the bridge. I never had the experience of feeling dizzy in the past. I felt a man was being watching me from behind and struck certain poses for some time. To each of my actions, he was bewildered and stared at his hands or watched while scratching the back of his ear but soon concocted an explanation. He was not convinced my actions were spontaneous or instinctive. After my senses returned on the bridge, I was unsettled by loneliness. When I had those feelings, I thought about my past and my future. Stumbling over the bridge, I recalled various events and daydreamed. In the end, I sighed and thought, Maybe, I'll be a great man. Around that time, I began to get anxious. I was dissatisfied with everything and trapped in an empty struggle. A multitude of masks stuck to me. I could not perceive how sad each one was? I finally discovered an outlet for this sadness. It was creativity. There were many others like this. I thought everyone, like me, stared at trembling for no reason.

作家にならう、作家にならう、と私はひそかに願望した。弟もそのとし中學校へはひつて、私とひとつ部屋に寢起してゐたが、私は弟と相談して、初夏のころに五六人の友人たちを集め同人雜誌をつくつた。私の居るうちの筋向ひに大きい印刷所があつたから、そこへ頼んだのである。表紙も石版でうつくしく刷らせた。クラスの人たちへその雜誌を配つてやつた。私はそれへ毎月ひとつづつ創作を發表したのである。はじめは道徳に就いての哲學者めいた小説を書いた。一行か二行の斷片的な隨筆をも得意としてゐた。この雜誌はそれから一年ほど續けたが、私はそのことで長兄と氣まづいことを起してしまつた。

My secret desire was to become an author, to become a writer. That year, my younger brother entered middle school and lived in my room. I talked with my brother and gathered together five or six friends at the beginning of summer to produce a club magazine. A large publishing house was diagonally across the street from the house I lived in, and I relied on them. The cover was beautifully printed by lithograph printing. We distributed the magazine to our classmates. I produced one magazine a month. At first, I wrote a novel with the air of a philosopher contemplating morality. One or two fragmented essays were triumphs. This magazine lasted about one year. It became a point of disagreement with my oldest brother.

 長兄は私の文學に熱狂してゐるらしいのを心配して、郷里から長い手紙をよこしたのである。化學には方程式あり幾何には定理があつて、それを解する完全な鍵が與へられてゐるが、文學にはそれがないのです、ゆるされた年齡、環境に達しなければ文學を正當に掴むことが不可能と存じます、と物堅い調子で書いてあつた。私もさうだと思つた。しかも私は、自分をその許された人間であると信じた。私はすぐ長兄へ返事した。兄上の言ふことは本當だと思ふ、立派な兄を持つことは幸福である、しかし、私は文學のために勉強を怠ることがない、その故にこそいつそう勉強してゐるほどである、と誇張した感情をさへところどころにまぜて長兄へ告げてやつたのである。

My oldest brother worried about my enthusiasm for literature and sent a long letter from home. He wrote from his heart that the perfect keys are given in the equations in chemistry and theorems in geometry and their understanding, but not in literature. Allowing for age, he said if expertise about the environment is not achieved, a reasonable understanding of literature becomes impossible. I thought so, too. And I believed I am the sort of person who was given license. I immediately wrote back. I told him I believe what he said is true and I was happy to have such a fine brother. However, I was not neglecting my studies for literature. The reason was I study even harder. I wrote with exaggerated emotion mixed in here and there.

 なにはさてお前は衆にすぐれてゐなければいけないのだ、といふ脅迫めいた考へからであつたが、じじつ私は勉強してゐたのである。三年生になつてからは、いつもクラスの首席であつた。てんとりむしと言はれずに首席になることは困難であつたが、私はそのやうな嘲りを受けなかつた許りか、級友を手ならす術まで心得てゐた。蛸といふあだなの柔道の主將さへ私には從順であつた。教室の隅に紙屑入の大きな壺があつて、私はときたまそれを指さして、蛸もつぼへはひらないかと言へば、蛸はその壺へ頭をいれて笑ふのだ。笑ひ聲が壺に響いて異樣な音をたてた。クラスの美少年たちもたいてい私になついてゐた。私が顏の吹出物へ、三角形や六角形や花の形に切つた絆創膏をてんてんと貼り散らしても誰も可笑しがらなかつた程なのである。

I had intimidating thoughts like you must surpass the masses, but, in truth, I studied. After entering my third year, I was always at the top of my class. It was hard to be first in class without being called a grade grubber. I did not accept this ridicule and learned techniques to tame my classmates. Even the captain of the judo team, nicknamed Octopus, obeyed me. A large pot for wastepaper stood in the corner of the classroom. Occasionally, if I pointed to it and said, "Octopus, can you get in the pot?" Octopus stuck his head inside and laughed. His laughter echoed to produce bizarre sounds. The good-looking boys in class hung around me, too. I stuck spots of adhesive plaster cut into the shapes of triangles, hexagons, and flowers on the pimples on my face, but nobody laughed at me.

 私はこの吹出物には心をなやまされた。そのじぶんにはいよいよ數も殖えて、毎朝、眼をさますたびに掌で顏を撫でまはしてその有樣をしらべた。いろいろな藥を買つてつけたが、ききめがないのである。私はそれを藥屋へ買ひに行くときには、紙きれへその藥の名を書いて、こんな藥がありますかつて、と他人から頼まれたふうにして言はなければいけなかつたのである。私はその吹出物を欲情の象徴と考へて眼の先が暗くなるほど恥しかつた。いつそ死んでやつたらと思ふことさへあつた。私の顏に就いてのうちの人たちの不評判も絶頂に達してゐた。他家へとついでゐた私のいちばん上の姉は、治のところへは嫁に來るひとがあるまい、とまで言つてゐたさうである。私はせつせと藥をつけた。

These pimples plagued me. Their number kept growing. When I opened my eyes each morning, I checked the state of my face by patting it with the palm of my hand. I bought different medicines and dabbed them on my face, but they had no effect. When I went to buy medicine at the drugstore, I wrote the name of the medicine on a slip of paper to pretend I was asking if they sold that medicine for someone else. I thought pimples were a sign of sexual desire and was so ashamed everything before my eyes went black. I even thought about dying. The bad reputation of my face reached a peak within my family. My oldest sister who lived in another house warned no woman would become my bride. I diligently applied the medications.

 弟も私の吹出物を心配して、なんべんとなく私の代りに藥を買ひに行つて呉れた。私と弟とは子供のときから仲がわるくて、弟が中學へ受驗する折にも、私は彼の失敗を願つてゐたほどであつたけれど、かうしてふたりで故郷から離れて見ると、私にも弟のよい氣質がだんだん判つて來たのである。弟は大きくなるにつれて無口で内氣になつてゐた。私たちの同人雜誌にもときどき小品文を出してゐたが、みんな氣の弱々した文章であつた。私にくらべて學校の成績がよくないのを絶えず苦にしてゐて、私がなぐさめでもするとかへつて不氣嫌になつた。また、自分の額の生えぎはが富士のかたちに三角になつて女みたいなのをいまいましがつてゐた。額がせまいから頭がこんなに惡いのだと固く信じてゐたのである。私はこの弟にだけはなにもかも許した。私はその頃、人と對するときには、みんな押し隱して了ふか、みんなさらけ出して了ふか、どちらかであつたのである。私たちはなんでも打ち明けて話した。

My younger brother also worried about my pimples and often went to buy the medicine in my place. This brother and I hadn't gotten along since we were small. When he took the entrance exam for middle school, I hoped he would fail. But being far from home, I gradually discovered his nice disposition. As my brother got older, he became bashful and quiet. Once in a while, he and I published short literary works in our fanzine, but they were all timid compositions. Unlike me, he constantly fretted over his bad grades. And my sympathy only put him in a bad mood. He was annoyed by a growth the shape of Mt. Fuji swelling on his face into a part of a woman's physique. He was convinced he wasn't smart because his forehead was narrow. I forgave this brother anything and everything. In those days, I either hid everything from people or confessed everything to them. That brother and I confided everything to each other.

 秋のはじめの或る月のない夜に、私たちは港の棧橋へ出て、海峽を渡つてくるいい風にはたはたと吹かれながら赤い絲について話合つた。それはいつか學校の國語の教師が授業中に生徒へ語つて聞かせたことであつて、私たちの右足の小指に眼に見えぬ赤い絲がむすばれてゐて、それがするすると長く伸びて一方の端がきつと或る女の子のおなじ足指にむすびつけられてゐるのである、ふたりがどんなに離れてゐてもその絲は切れない、どんなに近づいても、たとひ往來で逢つても、その絲はこんぐらかることがない、さうして私たちはその女の子を嫁にもらふことにきまつてゐるのである。私はこの話をはじめて聞いたときには、かなり興奮して、うちへ歸つてからもすぐ弟に物語つてやつたほどであつた。私たちはその夜も、波の音や、かもめの聲に耳傾けつつ、その話をした。お前のワイフは今ごろどうしてるべなあ、と弟に聞いたら、弟は棧橋のらんかんを二三度兩手でゆりうごかしてから、庭あるいてる、ときまり惡げに言つた。大きい庭下駄をはいて、團扇をもつて、月見草を眺めてゐる少女は、いかにも弟と似つかはしく思はれた。私のを語る番であつたが、私は眞暗い海に眼をやつたまま、赤い帶しめての、とだけ言つて口を噤んだ。海峽を渡つて來る連絡船が、大きい宿屋みたいにたくさんの部屋部屋へ黄色いあかりをともして、ゆらゆらと水平線から浮んで出た。

One moonless night at the beginning of fall, we went out to the pier of the harbor and commented on a fluttering red thread in the breeze blowing across the strait toward us. A Japanese language teacher at school once told this story in class. An invisible red thread is tied to the little toe of your right foot. The string is smoothly stretched and its other end is tied to the same toe of a girl. No matter how far the two of us are separated, the thread will never break. No matter how close we are, even if we meet on the street, that thread never becomes entangled. This determines the girl who will become your bride. When I first heard this story, I got very excited and immediately told my brother when I returned home. That night, we talked while listening to the sounds of waves and the calls of seagulls. When I asked my brother what is your wife doing now, after shaking the handrail along the pier a few times with both hands, he awkwardly said, "Walking in the garden." I thought the young woman wearing large garden geta clogs, holding a fan, and gazing at the primrose seemed perfect for my little brother. It was my turn, but looking out to the black sea, I only said, "Her obi sash is red." A ferryboat crossing the strait floated out unsteadily from the horizon and looked like a huge inn with its many rooms lit by yellow lights.

 これだけは弟にもかくしてゐた。私がそのとしの夏休みに故郷へ歸つたら、浴衣に赤い帶をしめたあたらしい小柄な小間使が、亂暴な動作で私の洋服を脱がせて呉れたのだ。みよと言つた。

I only hid one event from my younger brother. After returning home for summer vacation one year, a petite maid who tied her summer kimono with a red obi sash made me take off my Western-style clothes in an act of violence. Her name was Miyo.

 私は寢しなに煙草を一本こつそりふかして、小説の書き出しなどを考へる癖があつたが、みよはいつの間にかそれを知つて了つて、ある晩私の床をのべてから枕元へ、きちんと煙草盆を置いたのである。私はその次の朝、部屋を掃除しに來たみよへ、煙草はかくれてのんでゐるのだから煙草盆なんか置いてはいけない、と言ひつけた。みよは、はあ、と言つてふくれたやうにしてゐた。同じ休暇中のことだつたが、まちに浪花節の興行物が來たとき、私のうちでは、使つてゐる人たち全部を芝居小屋へ聞きにやつた。私と弟も行けと言はれたが、私たちは田舍の興行物を莫迦にして、わざと螢をとりに田圃へ出かけたのである。隣村の森ちかくまで行つたが、あんまり夜露がひどかつたので、二十そこそこを、籠にためただけでうちへ歸つた。浪花節へ行つてゐた人たちもそろそろ歸つて來た。みよに床をひかせ、蚊帳をつらせてから、私たちは電燈を消してその螢を蚊帳のなかへ放した。螢は蚊帳のあちこちをすつすつと飛んだ。みよも暫く蚊帳のそとに佇んで螢を見てゐた。私は弟と並んで寢ころびながら、螢の青い火よりもみよのほのじろい姿をよけいに感じてゐた。浪花節は面白かつたらうか、と私はすこし堅くなつて聞いた。私はそれまで、女中には用事以外の口を決してきかなかつたのである。みよは靜かな口調で、いいえ、と言つた。私はふきだした。弟は、蚊帳の裾に吸ひついてゐる一匹の螢を團扇でばさばさ追ひたてながら默つてゐた。私はなにやら工合がわるかつた。

 そのころから私はみよを意識しだした。赤い絲と言へば、みよのすがたが胸に浮んだ。

I had the habit of secretly smoking a cigarette in bed and thinking about writing novels. Miyo soon discovered this. One evening, after she spread out my bed, she deliberately placed an ashtray at my bedside. The next morning when Miyo came to clean my room, I told her not to put down an ashtray because my smoking was a secret. Miyo agreed but was a bit cross. During that same vacation, performers came to town to sing ballads accompanied by shamisen. Everyone in my family, including the servants, went to see them at the theater. My younger brother and I were told to go, but we made fun of this show in the countryside and went out to the paddy fields to catch fireflies. We went as far as the trees in the nearby village, but the evening dew was awful. We went home after collecting only about twenty in the basket. The theatergoers came back soon after. I had Miyo pull out the bedding and hang up the mosquito net. We turned off the lantern and freed the fireflies inside the netting. The fireflies fluttered here and there under the net. Miyo stood outside the net and watched for a long time. While lying down next to my little brother, many feelings rose in me toward the amazing figure of Miyo rather than the blue lights of the fireflies. A little stiffly, I asked if the ballads were amusing. I never before asked a maid about anything other than work. Miyo in a hushed tone said no. I burst out laughing. My brother silently pursued a firefly sticking to the hem of the net with a fluttering circular fan. My situation was bad.

From then on, I noticed Miyo. If I thought of the red thread, Miyo's figure rose in my heart.

三章

 四年生になつてから、私の部屋へは毎日のやうにふたりの生徒が遊びに來た。私は葡萄酒と鯣をふるまつた。さうして彼等に多くの出鱈目を教へたのである。炭《すみ》のおこしかたに就いて一册の書物が出てゐるとか、「けだものの機械」といふ或る新進作家の著書に私がべたべたと機械油を塗つて置いて、かうして發賣されてゐるのだが、珍らしい裝幀でないかとか、「美貌の友」といふ飜譯本のところどころカツトされて、そのブランクになつてゐる箇所へ、私のこしらへたひどい文章を、知つてゐる印刷屋へ祕密にたのんで刷りいれてもらつて、これは奇書だとか、そんなことを言つて友人たちを驚かせたものであつた。

Three

After becoming a fourth year student, two students came to my room everyday. I treated them to wine and dried cuttlefish and often taught them a lot of nonsense. To shock my friends, I told them wild things. There's a book for kindling charcoal. A book called The Machines of the Beasts written by an up-and-coming author was coated with sticky machine oil and sold in that condition. Isn't that an amazing binding? A translated book called The Good-Looking Friend had woodcut prints here and there. I secretly ordered a printing of my terrible writings on the book's blank pages from a printer I knew. I surprised my friends who said things like, "This book is odd."

 みよの思ひ出も次第にうすれてゐたし、そのうへに私は、ひとつうちに居る者どうしが思つたり思はれたりすることを變にうしろめたく感じてゐたし、ふだんから女の惡口ばかり言つて來てゐる手前もあつたし、みよに就いて譬へほのかにでも心を亂したのが腹立しく思はれるときさへあつたほどで、弟にはもちろん、これらの友人たちにもみよの事だけは言はずに置いたのである。

Memories of Miyo gradually faded. Also, I felt strangely guilty about how two birds of a feather living in one house thought and were thought of. Usually, women only vilified me. Sometimes, I angered when I thought about my faintly confused heart toward Miyo. Of course, I never spoke about Miyo to my brother or my friends.

 ところが、そのあたり私は、ある露西亞の作家の名だかい長編小説を讀んで、また考へ直して了つた。それは、ひとりの女囚人の經歴から書き出されてゐたが、その女のいけなくなる第一歩は、彼女の主人の甥にあたる貴族の大學生に誘惑されたことからはじまつてゐた。私はその小説のもつと大きなあぢはひを忘れて、そのふたりが咲き亂れたライラツクの花の下で最初の接吻を交したペエジに私の枯葉の枝折をはさんでおいたのだ。私もまた、すぐれた小説をよそごとのやうにして讀むことができなかつたのである。私には、そのふたりがみよと私とに似てゐるやうな氣分がしてならなかつた。私がいま少しすべてにあつかましかつたら、いよいよ此の貴族とそつくりになれるのだ、と思つた。さう思ふと私の臆病さがはかなく感じられもするのである。こんな氣のせせこましさが私の過去をあまりに平坦にしてしまつたのだと考へた。私自身で人生のかがやかしい受難者になりたく思はれたのである。

Around that time I read a famous, long novel by a Russian author and had second thoughts. The novel was written as the personal history of a lone woman prisoner. In the first step, she failed to resist being seduced by a university student from an aristocratic family who was also the nephew of her husband. I've forgotten the gist of the novel, but I inserted my dried leaf bookmark at the page that described the first kiss they exchanged under lilac flowers in full bloom. I could not read this amazing novel objectively. To me, those two resembled Miyo and me. If now I'm a little brazen, I thought eventually I'd be indistinguishable from that aristocrat. I thought that and my cowardice felt fleeting. This sort of uncomfortable feeling leveled out my past. I believed I wanted to become the brilliant martyr of my life.

 私は此のことをまづ弟へ打ち明けた。晩に寢てから打ち明けた。私は巖肅な態度で話すつもりであつたが、さう意識してこしらへた姿勢が逆に邪魔をして來て、結局うはついた。私は、頸筋をさすつたり兩手をもみ合せたりして、氣品のない話かたをした。さうしなければかなはぬ私の習性を私は悲しく思つた。弟は、うすい下唇をちろちろ舐めながら、寢がへりもせず聞いてゐたが、けつこんするのか、と言ひにくさうにして尋ねた。私はなぜだかぎよつとした。できるかどうか、とわざとしをれて答へた。弟は、恐らくできないのではないかといふ意味のことを案外なおとなびた口調でまはりくどく言つた。それを聞いて、私は自分のほんたうの態度をはつきり見つけた。私はむつとして、たけりたけつたのである。蒲團から半身を出して、だからたたかふのだ、たたかふのだ、と聲をひそめて強く言ひ張つた。弟は更紗染めの蒲團の下でからだをくねくねさせて何か言はうとしてゐるらしかつたが、私の方を盜むやうにして見て、そつと微笑んだ。私も笑ひ出した。そして、門出だから、と言ひつつ弟の方へ手を差し出した。弟も恥しさうに蒲團から右手を出した。私は低く聲を立てて笑ひながら、二三度弟の力ない指をゆすぶつた。

I first revealed this to my younger brother. I told him after going to bed at night. I intended to speak with gravity, but this stance I consciously created got in the way and, in the end, I was skittish. I stroked my neck, rubbed my hands together, and began to speak clumsily. I sadly thought about that habit of mine. As my brother gently licked his lower lip, he listened without turning over in his bed and asked with difficulty, "Will you get married?" I was shocked and wondered why he asked. I plainly answered, "I probably will." My brother spoke in an unusually badgering and mature tone that meant maybe I won't. Hearing that, I became aware of my own true attitude. I was offended and furious. I got halfway out of my futon and gently insisted, "Do you want to fight?" My brother's body was curled under his cotton-print futon and seemed to want to say something. He stole a look at me and smiled. I burst out laughing. I reached out to my brother as I said, "Get out." My brother sheepishly stuck out his right hand from the futon. I quietly spoke and while laughing jiggled my brother's weak fingers a few times.

 しかし、友人たちに私の決意を承認させるときには、こんな苦心をしなくてよかつた。友人たちは私の話を聞きながら、あれこれと思案をめぐらしてゐるやうな恰好をして見せたが、それは、私の話がすんでからそれへの同意に效果を添へようためのものでしかないのを、私は知つてゐた。じじつその通りだつたのである。

 四年生のときの夏やすみには、私はこの友人たちふたりをつれて故郷へ歸つた。うはべは、三人で高等學校への受驗勉強を始めるためであつたが、みよを見せたい心も私にあつて、むりやりに友をつれて來たのである。私は、私の友がうちの人たちに不評判でないやうに祈つた。私の兄たちの友人は、みんな地方でも名のある家庭の青年ばかりだつたから、私の友のやうに金釦のふたつしかない上着などを着てはゐなかつたのである。

Fortunately, however, when my friends approved of my decisions, this sort of pain vanished. As my friends listened to me, they appeared to be reflecting on various matters. That told me that after I finished, the result would be agreement, which, in fact, was the case.

One summer vacation during my fourth year, two friends returned home with me. For appearance's sake, we were going to begin studying for the high school entrance exams, but I wanted them to see Miyo and forced them to come. I prayed that my friends would not be unpopular with the people at home. The friends of my older brothers were all youths from families of some note even in the provinces.

 裏の空屋敷には、そのじぶん大きな鷄舍が建てられてゐて、私たちはその傍の番小屋で午前中だけ勉強した。番小屋の外側は白と緑のペンキでいろどられて、なかは二坪ほどの板の間で、まだ新しいワニス塗の卓子や椅子がきちんとならべられてゐた。ひろい扉が東側と北側に二つもついてゐたし、南側にも洋ふうの開窓があつて、それを皆いつぱいに明け放すと、風がどんどんはひつて來て書物のペエジがいつもぱらぱらとそよいでゐるのだ。まはりには雜草がむかしのままに生えしげつてゐて、黄いろい雛が何十羽となくその草の間に見えかくれしつつ遊んでゐた。

A large chicken coop was built near an abandoned mansion out back. We studied only during the morning in the guard booth beside it. The exterior of the guard booth was painted white and green. Inside was a room about two square meters with a wooden floor. New varnished table and chairs were precisely arranged inside. There were two wide doors, one each on the east and north sides. A Western-style opening window was placed on the south side. When all the windows were all open, the wind steadily blew in and ruffled out books' pages. As in the past, weeds grew rampant. A dozen or so yellow chicks hid among the weeds.

 私たち三人はひるめしどきを樂しみにしてゐた。その番小屋へ、どの女中が、めしを知らせに來るかが問題であつたのである。みよでない女中が來れば、私たちは卓をぱたぱた叩いたり舌打したりして大騷ぎをした。みよが來ると、みんなしんとなつた。そして、みよが立ち去るといつせいに吹き出したものであつた。或る晴れた日、弟も私たちと一緒にそこで勉強をしてゐたが、ひるになつて、けふは誰が來るだらう、といつものやうに皆で語り合つた。弟だけは話からはづれて、窓ぎはをぶらぶら歩きながら英語の單語を暗記してゐた。私たちは色んな冗談を言つて、書物を投げつけ合つたり足踏して床を鳴らしてゐたが、そのうちに私は少しふざけ過ぎて了つた。私は弟をも仲間にいれたく思つて、お前はさつきから默つてゐるが、さては、と唇を輕くかんで弟をにらんでやつたのである。すると弟は、いや、と短く叫んで右手を大きく振つた。持つてゐた單語のカアドが二三枚ぱつと飛び散つた。私はびつくりして視線をかへた。そのとつさの間に私は氣まづい斷定を下した。みよの事はけふ限りよさうと思つた。それからすぐ、なにごともなかつたやうに笑ひ崩れた。

The three of us enjoyed lunch. Our problem was which maid would come to the guard booth to call us to lunch. If a maid other than Miyo came, we tapped on the table and clicked our tongues to create a racket. When Miyo came, everyone went silent. When Miyo left, we all exhaled at once. One sunny day, my younger brother came to study with us. At noon, we all wondered out loud who would come. Only my brother avoided this conversation and continued memorizing English words while strolling beside the window. We told jokes, flung books around, stomped our feet to make the floor ring. I was a little too rambunctious. I thought my brother wanted to join us. I told him he's been too quiet and gently bit my lips, and stared at him. My brother snapped no and waved his right hand. A couple of the vocabulary cards he held flew off. I was surprised and looked away. I made came to an awkward conclusion. I thought Miyo would be nice to see today. Then I immediately broke down in laughter for no reason.

 その日めしを知らせに來たのは、仕合せと、みよでなかつた。母屋へ通る豆畑のあひだの狹い道を、てんてんと一列につらなつて歩いて行く皆のうしろへついて、私は陽氣にはしやぎながら豆の丸い葉を幾枚も幾枚もむしりとつた。

 犧牲などといふことは始めから考へてなかつた。ただいやだつたのだ。ライラツクの白い茂みが泥を浴びせられた。殊にその惡戲者が肉親であるのがいつそういやであつた。

 それからの二三日は、さまざまに思ひなやんだ。みよだつて庭を歩くことがあるでないか。彼は私の握手にほとんど當惑した。要するに私はめでたいのではないだらうか。私にとつて、めでたいといふ事ほどひどい恥辱はなかつたのである。

 おなじころ、よくないことが續いて起つた。ある日の晝食の際に、私は弟や友人たちといつしよに食卓へ向つてゐたが、その傍でみよが、紅い猿の面の繪團扇でぱさぱさと私たちをあふぎながら給仕してゐた。私はその團扇の風の量で、みよの心をこつそり計つてゐたものだ。みよは、私よりも弟の方を多くあふいだ。私は絶望して、カツレツの皿へぱちつとフオクを置いた。

 みんなして私をいぢめるのだ、と思ひ込んだ。友人たちだつてまへから知つてゐたに違ひない、と無闇に人を疑つた。もう、みよを忘れてやるからいい、と私はひとりできめてゐた。

Happily, the maid who called us for lunch that day was not Miyo. Everyone walked behind me in a line down a narrow path in a bean field that passed by my mother's room. I was cheerful and plucked off many of the beans' round leaves.

I didn't think of it as a sacrificial offering at the beginning. It was simply a bad thing to do. I had them pour mud over a white lilac bush. What made it worse was was the prankster, in particular, was a blood relative.

A few days later, I was troubled by various thoughts. Doesn't Miyo stroll around the garden? She was truly confused about shaking hands with me. In short, shouldn't I have been congratulated? I was not terribly insulted by congratulations.

Around the same time, bad things continued to happen. During lunch one day, I was heading to the lunch table with my brother and friends. Miyo served while fanning us nearby with a fan with a red monkey painted on the side. I secretly gauged Miyo's feeling from the amount of air from that fan. Miyo fanned my little brother more than me. I lost hope, and slammed my fork onto the plate of fried cutlets.

Everyone thought she was bullying me. My friends definitely knew from earlier and were rash in their mistrust of people. I decided on my own it would be best to forget about Miyo.

 また二三日たつて、ある朝のこと、私は、前夜ふかした煙草がまだ五六ぽん箱にはひつて殘つてゐるのを枕元へ置き忘れたままで番小屋へ出掛け、あとで氣がついてうろたへて部屋へ引返して見たが、部屋は綺麗に片づけられ箱がなかつたのである。私は觀念した。みよを呼んで、煙草はどうした、見つけられたらう、と叱るやうにして聞いた。みよは眞面目な顏をして首を振つた。そしてすぐ、部屋のなげしの裏へ脊のびして手をつつこんだ。金色の二つの蝙蝠が飛んである緑いろの小さな紙箱はそこから出た。

One morning a few days later, I forgot that I left five or six cigarettes I smoked the previous night in the box and went out to the guardhouse. I remembered later and went back to see. My room had been cleaned, and the box was gone. I accepted the loss. I called Miyo and asked her, like I was scolding her, what happened to the cigarettes and if she found them. Looking serious, Miyo shook her head no. I stretched up to run my hand behind the beams in the room. A small, green paper box with two flying golden bats came out of there.

 私はこのことから勇氣を百倍にもして取りもどし、まへからの決意にふたたび眼ざめたのである。しかし、弟のことを思ふとやはり氣がふさがつて、みよのわけで友人たちと騷ぐことをも避けたし、そのほか弟には、なにかにつけていやしい遠慮をした。自分から進んでみよを誘惑することもひかへた。私はみよから打ち明けられるのを待つことにした。私はいくらでもその機會をみよに與へることができたのだ。私は屡々みよを部屋へ呼んで要らない用事を言ひつけた。そして、みよが私の部屋へはひつて來るときには、私はどこかしら油斷のあるくつろいだ恰好をして見せたのである。みよの心を動かすために、私は顏にも氣をくばつた。その頃になつて私の顏の吹出物もどうやら直つてゐたが、それでも惰性で、私はなにかと顏をこしらへてゐた。私はその蓋のおもてに蔦のやうな長くくねつた蔓草がいつぱい彫り込まれてある美しい銀のコンパクトを持つてゐた。それでもつて私のきめを時折うめてゐたのだけれど、それを尚すこし心をいれてしたのである。

I regained one hundred times more courage from that incident and was reawakened to my earlier determination. However, I was hobbled by thoughts of my little brother. Because of Miyo, he avoided being boisterous with my friends. He was also afflicted with servile restraint. By choice, he held back any attempt to entice Miyo. I waited for Miyo to reveal her feelings. I gave her a number of opportunities to do so. I frequently called her to a room and to have her to do unneeded tasks. When Miyo came to my room I showed her the careless, relaxed me. To move Miyo's heart, I also paid attention to my face. In those days, the pimples on my face somehow healed. Nevertheless, I put on make-up. I carried a pretty silver compact engraved with long, twisting climbing plant like a vine on its lid. Although it sometimes buried my skin texture, I was simply devoted to it.

 これからはもう、みよの決心しだいであると思つた。しかし、機會はなかなか來なかつたのである。番小屋で勉強してゐる間も、ときどきそこから脱け出て、みよを見に母屋へ歸つた。殆どあらつぽい程ばたんばたんとはき掃除してゐるみよの姿を、そつと眺めては唇をかんだ。

 そのうちにたうとう夏やすみも終りになつて、私は弟や友人たちとともに故郷を立ち去らなければいけなくなつた。せめて此のつぎの休暇まで私を忘れさせないで置くやうな何か鳥渡した思ひ出だけでも、みよの心に植ゑつけたいと念じたが、それも駄目であつた。

 出發の日が來て、私たちはうちの黒い箱馬車へ乘り込んだ。うちの人たちと並んで玄關先へ、みよも見送りに立つてゐた。みよは、私の方も弟の方も、見なかつた。はづした萌黄のたすきを珠數のやうに兩手でつまぐりながら下ばかりを向いてゐた。いよいよ馬車が動き出してもさうしてゐた。私はおほきい心殘りを感じて故郷を離れたのである。

I believed, from then on, that Miyo would make up her mind. However, the chance never came. While studying in the guardhouse, I'd slip out from time to time and see Miyo returning to the main house. I spied her sweeping in rough, slapping motions and bit my lip.

Summer vacation soon ended, my brother, my friends, and I had to leave home. I remembered thinking at least a little something remained so I would not be forgotten by the next vacation, I hoped it would grow in Miyo's heart, but I was wrong.

The day to leave arrived. We climbed into our black covered buggy. Miyo stood in line with the household staff in front of the entryway to see us off. Miyo didn't look at my little brother or at me. She only looked down at the yellowish green sash she had taken off and was rolling between her hands like a rosary. Finally, the buggy departed, I deeply regretted having to leave home.

 秋になつて、私はその都會から汽車で三十分ぐらゐかかつて行ける海岸の温泉地へ、弟をつれて出掛けた。そこには、私の母と病後の末の姉とが家を借りて湯治してゐたのだ。私はずつとそこへ寢泊りして、受驗勉強をつづけた。私は秀才といふぬきさしならぬ名譽のために、どうしても、中學四年から高等學校へはひつて見せなければならなかつたのである。私の學校ぎらひはその頃になつて、いつそうひどかつたのであるが、何かに追はれてゐる私は、それでも一途に勉強してゐた。私はそこから汽車で學校へかよつた。日曜毎に友人たちが遊びに來るのだ。私たちは、もう、みよの事を忘れたやうにしてゐた。私は友人たちと必ずピクニツクにでかけた。海岸のひらたい岩の上で、肉鍋をこさへ、葡萄酒をのんだ。弟は聲もよくて多くのあたらしい歌を知つてゐたから、私たちはそれらを弟に教へてもらつて、聲をそろへて歌つた。遊びつかれてその岩の上で眠つて、眼がさめると潮が滿ちて陸つづきだつた筈のその岩が、いつか離れ島になつてゐるので、私たちはまだ夢から醒めないでゐるやうな氣がするのである。

Autumn came, and I left the city with my little brother to go by train to the hot springs on the coast about thirty minutes away. After my mother fell ill, my youngest sister rented a house for her to take the hot-spring cure. I stayed there the whole time and continued to study for my entrance exam. My troublesome reputation of being a prodigy required me to display it from my fourth year in middle school until entering high school. During that time, I came to hate school. It was horrible, but as a person being pursued by something, I studied with single-minded determination. I took the train from there to school. Every Sunday, my friends came to pass time with me. I always had a picnic with them. On the flat rocks at the shore, we enjoyed meat stew and drank wine. My brother had a nice voice and knew many new songs. He taught us these songs, and we all sang together. We wore ourselves out fooling around and fell asleep on the rocks. When we woke up, the tide had come in. The rock, which should have been part of the shore, was an island. We felt as though we had not awakened from our dreams.

 私はこの友人たちと一日でも逢はなかつたら淋しいのだ。そのころの事であるが、或る野分のあらい日に、私は學校で教師につよく兩頬をなぐられた。それが偶然にも私の仁侠的な行爲からそんな處罰を受けたのだから、私の友人たちは怒つた。その日の放課後、四年生全部が博物教室へ集つて、その教師の追放について協議したのである。ストライキ、ストライキ、と聲高くさけぶ生徒もあつた。私は狼狽した。もし私一個人のためを思つてストライキをするのだつたら、よして呉れ、私はあの教師を憎んでゐない、事件は簡單なのだ、簡單なのだ、と生徒たちに頼みまはつた。友人たちは私を卑怯だとか勝手だとか言つた。私は息苦しくなつて、その教室から出て了つた。温泉場の家へ歸つて、私はすぐ湯にはひつた。野分にたたかれて破れつくした二三枚の芭蕉の葉が、その庭の隅から湯槽のなかへ青い影を落してゐた。私は湯槽のふちに腰かけながら生きた氣もせず思ひに沈んだ。

I was lonely if I didn't see my friends for even one day. During a severe, late-autumn windstorm, I was slapped hard on both cheeks by a teacher at school. My friends were enraged because I was punished for chivalrous behavior. After class that day, all the fourth year students gathered in the museum room to discuss ousting that teacher. The students shouted, "Strike! Strike!" I panicked. I told them not to strike just for me. I didn't hate that teacher. I pleaded with the students to keep the situation simple. My friends called me a coward and selfish. I felt suffocated and left the classroom. I returned to the house at the hot springs and immediately went out to the hot spring. A few pages of Basho were ripped by the winds and dropped into the blue shadows in the tub. While sitting on the edge of the tub, I stopped my breath and sunk into deep thoughts.

  • 思ひ出
  • 著者名: 太宰治
  • 入力:赤木孝之
  • 校正:小林繁雄
  • 翻訳者:シェリー・マーシャル
  • Memories (in Japanese)
  • Author: Osamu Dazai
  • Input by:Akagi Takayuki
  • Revised by:Kobayashi Shigeo
  • Translated by: Shelley Marshall
© 2018 Shelley Marshall