Shogun Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the difference between the Erasmus and the galley headed to Osaka?

2. How does Blackthorne realize he is not going to be executed?

3. Why does Toranaga deny the young widow the privilege of committing seppuku?

4. When Toda Hiro-matsu arrives, what is Yabu doing?

5. What question comes to mind when Blackthorne almost falls off the galley while Rodrigues is piloting?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the diversion that allows Toranaga, dressed as a woman, to change places with Kiri in the palanquin?

2. What sets up the conflict between Blackthorne and Omi that lasts for the remainder of the novel?

3. What does Blackthorne tell Toranaga at their first meeting that puzzled him?

4. What does Rodrigues tell Blackthorne about the Japanese rowers on board the galley?

5. How is the Portuguese pilot, Rodrigues, introduced into the story?

6. What prompts Blackthorne to attack Father Sabastio and desecrate his wooden cross?

7. Describe the change in Toranaga's orders related to Blackthorne after he is removed from prison.

8. What is the first indication of the brutality of the samurai in the novel?

9. Why does Yabu personally scale the cliffs to rescue Rodrigues?

10. Why is Rodrigues swept overboard on the galley?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay of at least two typewritten, double spaced pages on the topic, The Absurdity of Religious Wars. Use Toranaga as an example when he can scarcely believe that wars in Europe have centered around religious differences. Discuss the oxymoron of a "holy war." Give examples from history to the present day when war has been declared over religion.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay of at least two typewritten, double spaced pages on the topic, What I think Happens to Blackthorne. Begin with Blackthorne's being given Kiku as a wife and everything he needs to build ships without knowing that Toranaga plans to destroy them all. Speculate on what you think ultimately becomes of Blackthorne. Give three possible scenarios: (1) he manages to get away by himself on a ship before Toranaga can destroy it; (2) he manages to get away with Kiku on a trading ship that comes to Osaka; or (3) he settles in comfortably with Kiku and remains in Japan for the rest of his life.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay of at least two typewritten, double spaced pages on the topic, Ruthlessness and Political Ambition. In your essay, point out instances where Toranaga has little concern about using people to gain his own ends. Mention instances of out right lies Toranaga tells to get his way. Finally, discuss the real ambition behind everything Toranaga does throughout the novel.

(see the answer keys)

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