I'm reading several short texts as a part of a university course that's starting this fall, but I'm having problem understand parts of this one text. It's called 絵本 and is written by 林芙美子


I know it's an older text, and I figured out some things, like how there's no small っ and how ゐ is used instead of い and they use some older often more complex kanji for a lot of words. I also think ぢ is used instead of じ, and that わ is replaced with は for some words like ふわふわ that becomes ふはふは. I also figured out that ゝ repeats the previous hiragana (is this ever used in modern japanese? it seems pretty useless).

  1. 何かいつも愉しさうだつた。娘の子のつかふやうな針箱をそばに置いて、涼しい処でゐねむりをするので好きだつた

I can't for the life of my figure out the part (in bold text).

  1. 家ぢゆうあけつぱなしなので白い蝶々がお婆さんの鼻さきにまで飛んで来た。  

Is this 家中開けっ放し?

  1. 初めは何かい喃と、ぢつと眼をこらしてめやにのたまつたまなじりをぱちぱちさせてゐたが、白い蝶々なのだとおもふと、お婆さんは手を宙へあげてひらひらさせてみたりした。

What is 喃と and おもふと?

  1. 土の上に冷えた、土鍋のふちに、もう蟻が四五匹這ひあがつてゐる

Why is there a ひ in the text shouldn't this be 這上がっている? (はいあがる)

  • Not sure about some of your questions but, ふ is used instead of う for some verbs in old writing. Therefore, おもふ is おもう, つかふ is つかう, and it explains the conjugation of 這ひ. やう is よう I believe.
    – user1624
    Aug 5 '16 at 22:47
  1. 娘の子のつかふやうな is 娘の子の使うような (or 女の子が使うような) in modern Japanese.
  2. Yes it's 家中開けっ放し.
  3. This 喃 is probably read のう. なんかいのう ≒ 何かなあ. おもふ is the archaic equivalent of 思う.
  4. 這う was 這ふ in old Japanese, so it's not a typo.

See: Historical kana orthography


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