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. What was pleasing about finding a torn up letter?
(a) When one could piece it back together.
(b) When one discovered it wasn't from oneself.
(c) Burning the paper.
(d) The pattern it made on the ground.

2. In "There Was a Man in the Corridor" what was the man's servant holding?
(a) An umbrella.
(b) A brightly wrapped package.
(c) A branch of cherry blossoms.
(d) Flowers.

3. What did Shonagon say was a painful surprise on the morning after a fierce wind?
(a) A disheveled garden.
(b) Broken branches.
(c) A knocked over fence.
(d) A fallen tree.

4. What is the meaning of the name of the plant that Shonagon asked the children the name of in "On the Sixth of the Month?"
(a) High head plant.
(b) Neckless plant.
(c) Eyeless plant.
(d) Earless plant.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Who was the Empress' sister?

2. What did Shonagon say was the most splendid of all qualities, especially in men?

3. What ruined the cherry blossoms used to decorate for the Dedication of the Full Canon?

4. A promotion to what rank changed a man who was previously a Subordinate Official so much that he seemed to have been reborn?

5. What did Masahiro hide behind a screen to eat?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did Tadanobu tell Nobukata about the secret code he and Shonagon spoke in?

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

3. Why did Shonagon say that no one pays attention to a Palace Chaplain when he walks by?

4. Why did the priest tell the women to keep talking all night after overhearing their conversation about where the wood for the Chamberlains' batons come from and talking about the names of clothing?

5. Why was Shonagon uncertain of how to reply to Yukinari's gift of square cakes?

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

7. Why did Shonagon say that a woman who leaves home because she is angry with her husband has lost power?

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

9. Why did the Empress say that she could understand why Shonagon would be particularly impressed by Tadanobu's finding the perfect lines to say at a gathering following a service for the late Chancellor?

10. Why did Shonagon say festivals held near the palace were distant but near?

(see the answer keys)

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