Religions of Japan
Midterm Exam

Part I: Quiz-Style Questions
25x1=25 points

A combination of multiple-choice, true/false, and fill-in-the-blank questions based on material that is on the course web pages and was discussed in class.
Part II: Identify & State the Significance
5x5=25 points

Identify and state the significance of 5 out of 8 items, all of which are prominently featured on the web and were discussed in detail during class.

Part III: Essay Questions
2x25=50 points

Answer 2 of the following 3 essay questions:
  1. In Shinto: The Way Home, Thomas P. Kasulis explores Shinto through the idea of the “holographic entry point.” Explain what Kasulis means by this term, and then use it to interpret the various experiences that one would typically have during a visit to a Shinto shrine — such as passing through a torii at the entrance of the shrine, rinsing one’s hands and mouth at the temizuya, and bowing/clapping/bowing at the shrine’s haiden (worship hall). Your response should conclude with a reflection on the primary purpose of a visit to a Shinto shrine based on your examination of the various “holographic entry points” that it contains.

  2. Discuss the historical factors that led to the development of Prince Shotoku’s Seventeen-Article Constitution and then summarize at least two of its articles to explain how the document attempted to use Confucian principles to transform the Japanese system of government. You should conclude by identifying at least one way that the Confucian-style government of Imperial China was adapted to fit the religious context of seventh-century Japan.

  3. In Buddhism: Introducing the Buddhist Experience, Donald Mitchell and Sarah Jacoby identify four key characteristics that are associated with the development of Mahayana Buddhism: The Bodhisattva Path, The Perfection of Wisdom, Buddha Nature, and Buddha Realms. Describe each of these four characteristics and explain how they collectively created a “Great Vehicle” that led to the attainment of full Buddhahood while simultaneously making Buddhism more accessible to the average layperson.