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. For what occasion did the Empress have to leave the Palace while they were in mourning for the Chancellor?
(a) The Dedication of the Texts.
(b) The Great Purification.
(c) Her brother's wedding.
(d) The Iris Festival.

2. What kind of pond did Shonagon like best?
(a) A pond with a bridge and flowers.
(b) A nicely kept pond.
(c) One that was wild and covered with weeds.
(d) One with fish.

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

4. Who recited the perfect lines at the gathering following the service dedicated to the late Chancellor?
(a) Yukinari.
(b) Shonagon.
(c) The Emperor.
(d) Tadanobu.

5. What was the spirit of the Captain from the Inner Palace Guards said to be haunting?
(a) A bridge.
(b) The Palace.
(c) A temple.
(d) A path leading to the garden.

Short Answer Questions

1. What did Shonagon say a woman's house should look like when she lived alone?

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

3. Who remarked to all the ladies gathered in the corridor to watch that it "must make [them] laugh to see the foolish old man?"

4. When Shonagon first went into waiting, what was the only time of day she wanted to go before the Empress?

5. In "On the Last Day of the Second Month," who was present at court that made Shonagon worry about her response to the note she received at the Black Door?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What did Shonagon hope to find out by seeing the Shigei Sha and what conclusion did she come to?

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

4. 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?

5. Why did the Empress laugh when Tozammi brought her the letters about the people at the capital no longer wearing their mourning clothes?

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

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

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

9. 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?

10. Why was Shonagon moved to tears upon witnessing the Emperor paying his respects to the Empress Dowager?

(see the answer keys)

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