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

Sei Shōnagon
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Who remarked to all the ladies gathered in the corridor to watch that it "must make [them] laugh to see the foolish old man?"
(a) The Empress.
(b) The Chancellor.
(c) The Emperor.
(d) Tadanobu.

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

3. In "When His Excellency, the Chancellor, Had Departed" who reminded Shonagon of the next line of a poem she had forgotten?
(a) The Empress.
(b) Shonagn's maid.
(c) A page boy.
(d) Lady Sakyo.

4. What color were the Shigei Sha's under-robes when Shonagon first saw her at Toka Palace?
(a) Shades of blue.
(b) Plum red.
(c) Yellow.
(d) Light violet.

5. In "Enviable Things" what hour was it when Shonagon was still only half way to the top of the hill to get to the Upper Shrine?
(a) The Hour of the Dog.
(b) The Hour of the Snake.
(c) The Hour of the Rat.
(d) The Hour of the Horse.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who was the Empress' sister?

2. Who did the Empress suggest Shonagon ask for advice about how to respond to the package from Yukinari?

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

4. What was in the parcel that Yukinari sent Shonagon in "One Day a Man from the Office of Grounds?"

5. What was the spirit of the Captain from the Inner Palace Guards said to be haunting?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did the Empress think Shonagon was lying when she insisted she was fond of the Empress during her early days as a courtier?

2. Why did the Empress keep the note Yukinari sent with the square cakes?

3. Why was Shonagon happy to receive a note from a man that read "the rain that swells the water?"

4. Why was Shonagon impressed when the Empress guessed that the cherry blossoms had been ruined by the rain?

5. When the ladies visited the guard house in "While We Were in Mourning for the Chancellor" why did the guards get angry with them?

6. Why was Nobukata offended when Shonagon teased him about liking to have a place to lie down and rest?

7. Why did Shonagon spend a long time at home after the Chancellor's death?

8. Why did Shonagon prefer that the envoys in the Special Festival at Kamo keep their faces concealed with wisteria?

9. Why was Nobukata upset by Shonagon's response to his inquiry about how she felt about the poem "had not yet reached the term of thirty?"

10. Why did the Chancellor tell the Empress that he must have good karma on the day after the Dedication of the Full Canon?

(see the answer keys)

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