Guidelines For Using My Translations
[Side text: A new client appears before Owner Watanuki...]
Watanuki: This shamisen... // There's something within it.
[Side text: Without a moment's hesitation, Watanuki discerns the presence of "something" within the instrument the woman presents. As the new owner of the shop that grants wishes, will he demonstrate his skills?!]
Customer: Indeed. // Or perhaps... // ...it would be more accurate to sae... / ...it is "still alive". // Would you happen to be aware... / ...from what the skin of a shamisen is taken?
Watanuki: A cat... / ...I believe.
Customer: Indeed. // The skin from the underbelly of a cat. // However, due to the high cost of creating such an instrument, they are rarely made with catskin nowadays. / Modern shamisen are more commonly made with dogskin instead. // Dogskin is favoured in the Tsugaru-jamisen style of music, since it requires the ability to produce powerful notes... // ...but in most other areas, catskin is generally considered superior.
Customer: It is said to produce the highest quality of shamisen, one must use a female cat. // A female with pristine skin, without scratch or blemish... / A truly beautiful specimen.
Watanuki: ...Yes, she must have been a very beautiful cat...
Customer: She is happy. / It seems she has taken a liking to you.
Watanuki: That's very nice to hear...
Customer: It's true. // She had been very agreeable, lending me her beautiful voice for such a long time... / ...but about ten days ago, she fell utterly silent all of a sudden. // That she is responding like this... // ...must mean that bringing her to this shop was the correct decision.
Customer: You see?
Watanuki: ...So it would seem. // Do you have any idea... / ...why it is that she fell silent?
Customer: Yes. // Because she was crafted into this form with all of her beauty intact... / ...she wishes to meet once more... // ...with that with she loved most dearly.
Doumeki: So what's the deal?
Watanuki: Apparently, when choosing a cat to use in the manufacture of a shamisen, it's best for the skin to be untainted. // Which is why in the case of a female cat, they tend to choose virgin specimens.
Doumeki: ...Because female cats tend to sustain injuries in the act of intercourse?
Watanuki: Don't put it so bluntly.
Doumeki: You would've preferred me to put it wittily?
Watanuki: ...That would be even worse.
Doumeki: So... / It doesn't make any sound at all? // That shamisen.
Watanuki: Not a single note... / ...since then.
Watanuki: I suppose she's just refusing to play until she's able to meet... // ...with "that which she loved most"...
Watanuki: What would be so beloved to a cat, anyway?
Doumeki: Another cat, I would have thought.
Watanuki: I suppose it would be simplest to just ask her.
Watanuki: In her dreams.
[Side text: A wish to meet with her beloved... a wish that remains even after she has been turned into a musical instrument!! What will Watanuki see in the dreams of a cat...?!]
[Bottom text: To be continued next issue - see you in Young Magazine Issue 48, on sale Monday 26th October!]