The Pillow Book of Sei Sh¯onagon, Translated [from the Japanese] and Edited by Ivan Morris Test | Final Test - Easy

Sei Shōnagon
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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What was stuck into the pile of snow that Emperor Murakami ordered?
(a) Seaweed.
(b) A branch of plum blossom.
(c) Paper flowers.
(d) Bamboo.

2. What did Shonagon say was the most splendid of all qualities, especially in men?
(a) Intelligence.
(b) Sympathy.
(c) Charisma.
(d) Beauty.

3. When Shonagon went to a temple for a retreat and was kneeling to pray, what did a priest bring her?
(a) A bonsai.
(b) A hollyhock.
(c) A branch of cherry blossoms.
(d) A bough of anise.

4. What kind of paper was Yukinari's letter to Shonagon written on in "One Evening Yukinari, the Controller First Secretary?"
(a) Cherry blossom paper.
(b) Meng-Ch'ang paper.
(c) Koya paper.
(d) Bamboo paper.

5. What time of day did the Shigei Sha arrive at the Palace to see the Empress?
(a) Early in the morning.
(b) Early evening.
(c) Late at night.
(d) Midday.

6. In "Things Without Merit" what item did Shonagon say was so vulgar that people wouldn't want her to mention it?
(a) Rice starch mixed with water.
(b) Festival rehearsals.
(c) Blurred ink on fine paper.
(d) Overcooked seaweed.

7. What was in the parcel that Yukinari sent Shonagon in "One Day a Man from the Office of Grounds?"
(a) A robe.
(b) Flowers.
(c) Square cakes.
(d) Colored paper.

8. What did Shonagon say the child who brought a letter to Tozammi's room looked like?
(a) A cherub.
(b) A hototogisu.
(c) A basket worm.
(d) A stick of bamboo.

9. Who did Shonagon say it was pleasant for a court lady on leave to visit?
(a) A priest.
(b) Another court lady on leave.
(c) Her childhood friends.
(d) Her parents.

10. What did the women do as they ran to see the dancers' special performance at the Shrine that caused people to laugh at them?
(a) Tripped over their skirts.
(b) Called out their thanks to the dancers.
(c) Lifted their skirts over their heads.
(d) Giggled loudly.

11. What was the poem Captain Tadanobu was going to recite in "One Day Captain Tadanobu, the Imperial Adviser, Came to Call?"
(a) Cherry blossoms in the spring.
(b) A beautiful woman looking at the moon.
(c) The Chancellor's death.
(d) The Fourth Month in this world of men.

12. In "In the First Month When I Go to a Temple" who did Shonagon say she liked to have with her when she visited a new place?
(a) Her brother.
(b) A gentleman.
(c) Only servants.
(d) Companions of her own class.

13. Who was the woman that Nobukata broke off his relationship with due to the gossip of the ladies?
(a) Tozammi.
(b) Shonagon.
(c) Sakyo.
(d) Lady Korechika.

14. What did Shonagon say a woman's house should look like when she lived alone?
(a) Dilapidated.
(b) Clean but simple.
(c) Beautiful.
(d) Organized.

15. Where did the Empress live after the Chancellor's death?
(a) The Emperor's quarters.
(b) Seiryo Palace.
(c) The Imperial Palace.
(d) The Smaller Palace of the Second Ward.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which of these was not on Shonagon's list of things that should be large.

2. What terminology did Shonagon and Tadanobu use to discuss men and women when they didn't want anyone else to know what they were talking about?

3. According to Shonagon, what is it absurd for people to get angry about?

4. Who said they had left the grass in the garden outside the palace to grow long so they could admire the dew?

5. What were the musicians singing at the rehearsal of the Special Festivals?

(see the answer keys)

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