December 21, 2023

Learn Japanese with 夏目漱石 Natsume Souseki | Lines from 吾輩は猫である I am a Cat

Whether you are a beginner or intermediate, let's break down a few famous lines from Natsume Souseki's I am a Cat.

If you would like to read the entire first chapter (which is kind of a standalone short story), click here.

While the story may be too challenging for beginners, I highly recommend all students of Japanese memorizing at least the first line. It's about a cat who would love to spend all his time napping but ends up critiquing the humans (and cats) around him. Learn more about the story or listen while reading by clicking here.

Let's go through a few fun lines from the story.

I am a Cat...


Translation, Notes, and Vocabulary

The most cruel of the human species...


Translation, Notes, and Vocabulary

About his master, the scholar...



Translation, Notes, and Vocabulary

The truth as seen by the cat...


Translation, Notes, and Vocabulary

He can be honest too...


Translation, Notes, and Vocabulary

Andrea del Sarto...

「へえアンドレア・デル・サルトがそんな (こと)をいった(こと)があるかい。ちっとも()らなかった。なるほどこりゃもっともだ。(じつ)にその(とお)りだ」と主人(しゅじん)無暗(むやみ)感心(かんしん)している。金縁(きんぶち)(うら)には(あざ)けるような(わらい)()えた。

Translation, Notes, and Vocabulary

The last line...


Translation, Notes, and Vocabulary

I hope you enjoyed this quick look at a few fun lines. If you feel ready to tackle the story, please click here for the audio and an English translation. If you are a beginner, I would recommend at least memorizing the first line. You'll be amazed how useful it is in conversation. 

Lastly, if you like this kind of content, please become a Makoto+ member by clicking here. Not only will you support us, but (more importantly) you'll also be supporting your Japanese language learning journey. Makoto+ has tons of material with new lessons weekly.

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