Passage Reading and English Comprehension
(a) an economic history of Japan
(b) the memoirs of a samurai warrior
(c) a modern novel about eighteenth-century Japan
(d) an essay contrasting Japanese feudalism with its Western counterpart
249. Which of the following financial situations is most analogous to the financial situation in which Japan’s Tokugawa shoguns found themselves in the eighteenth century?
(a) A small business borrows heavily to invest in new equipment, but is able to pay off its debt early when it is awarded a lucrative government contract.
(b) Fire destroys a small business, but insurance covers the cost of rebuilding.
(c) A small business is turned down for a loan at a local bank because the owners have no credit history.
(d) A small business has to struggle to meet operating expenses when its profits decrease.
250. Which of the following best describes the attitude of the author toward the samurai
(a) Warmly approving
(b) Mildly sympathetic
(c) Bitterly disappointed
(d) Harshly disdainful
251. According to the passage, the major reason for the financial problems experienced by Japan’s feudal overlords in the eighteenth century was that
(a) spending had outdistanced income
(b) trade had fallen off
(c) profits from mining had declined
(d) the coinage had been sharply debased
252. The passage implies that individual samurai did not find it easy to recover from debt for which of the following reasons?
(a) Agricultural production had increased.
(b) Taxes were irregular in timing and arbitrary in amount.
(c) There was a limit to the amount in taxes that farmers could be made to pay.
(d) The domains of samurai overlords were becoming smaller and poorer as government revenues increased.
253. The passage suggests that, in eighteenth-century Japan, the office of tax collector
(a) was a source of personal profit to the officeholder
(b) was regarded with derision by many Japanese
(c) remained within families
(d) existed only in castle-towns
254. Which of the following could best be substituted for the word “This” in the last line of the first paragraph without changing the meaning of the passage?
(a) The search of Japan’s Tokugawa shoguns for solvency
(b) The importance of commerce in feudal Japan
(c) The unfairness of the tax structure in eighteenth century Japan
(d) The difficulty of increasing government income by other means
255. The passage implies that which of the following was the primary reason why the Tokugawa shoguns turned to city merchants for help in financing the state?
(a) A series of costly wars had depleted the national treasury.
(b) Most of the country’s wealth appeared to be in city merchants’ hands.
(c) Japan had suffered a series of economic reversals due to natural disasters such as floods.
(d) The merchants were already heavily indebted to the shoguns.
256. According to the passage, the actions of the Tokugawa shoguns in their search for solvency for the government were regrettable because those actions
(a) raised the cost of living by pushing up prices
(b) resulted in the exhaustion of the most easily worked deposits of silver and gold
(c) were far lower in yield than had originally been anticipated
(d) did not succeed in reducing government spending
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