Find all School-related info fast with the new School-Specific MBA Forum

It is currently 16 Sep 2014, 23:48

Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Events & Promotions

Events & Promotions in June
Open Detailed Calendar

RC= Japan’s feudal overlords

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
TAGS:
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
avatar
Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 376
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 51 [0], given: 0

GMAT Tests User
RC= Japan’s feudal overlords [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2008, 11:08
Please support your answers with a few lines of explanation. Thanks!

In the eighteenth century, Japan’s feudal overlords, from the shogun to the humblest samurai, found themselves under financial stress. In part, this stress can be attributed to the overlords’ failure to adjust to a rapidly expanding economy, but the stress was also due to factors beyond the overlords’ control. Concentration of the samurai in castle-towns had acted as a stimulus to trade. Commercial efficiency, in turn, had put temptations in the way of buyers. Since most samurai had been reduced to idleness by years of peace, encouraged to engage in scholarship and martial exercises or to perform administrative tasks that took little time, it is not surprising that their tastes and habits grew expensive. Overlords’ income, despite the increase in rice production among their tenant farmers, failed to keep pace with their expenses. Although shortfalls in overlords’ income resulted almost as much from laxity among their tax collectors (the nearly inevitable outcome of hereditary office-holding) as from their higher standards of living, a misfortune like a fire or flood, bringing an increase in expenses or a drop in revenue, could put a domain in debt to the city rice-brokers who handled its finances. Once in debt, neither the individual samurai nor the shogun himself found it easy to recover.
It was difficult for individual samurai overlords to increase their income because the amount of rice that farmers could be made to pay in taxes was not unlimited, and since the income of Japan’s central government consisted in part of taxes collected by the shogun from his huge domain, the government too was constrained. Therefore, the Tokugawa shoguns began to look to other sources for revenue. Cash profits from government-owned mines were already on the decline because the most easily worked deposits of silver and gold had been exhausted, although debasement of the coinage had compensated for the loss. Opening up new farmland was a possibility, but most of what was suitable had already been exploited and further reclamation was technically unfeasible. Direct taxation of the samurai themselves would be politically dangerous. This left the shoguns only commerce as a potential source of government income.
Most of the country’s wealth, or so it seemed, was finding its way into the hands of city merchants. It appeared reasonable that they should contribute part of that revenue to ease the shogun’s burden of financing the state. A means of obtaining such revenue was soon found by levying forced loans, known as goyo-kin; although these were not taxes in the strict sense, since they were irregular in timing and arbitrary in amount, they were high in yield. Unfortunately, they pushed up prices. Thus, regrettably, the Tokugawa shoguns’ search for solvency for the government made it increasingly difficult for individual Japanese who lived on fixed stipends to make ends meet.

1.The passage is most probably an excerpt from
(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
(E) an introduction to a collection of Japanese folktales

2.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.
(E) A small business is able to cut back sharply on spending through greater commercial efficiency and thereby compensate for a loss of revenue.

3.Which of the following best describes the attitude of the author toward the samurai discussed in lines 11-16?
(A) Warmly approving
(B) Mildly sympathetic
(C) Bitterly disappointed
(D) Harshly disdainful
(E) Profoundly shocked


5.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) The Japanese government had failed to adjust to the needs of a changing economy.
(D) The domains of samurai overlords were becoming smaller and poorer as government revenues increased.
(E) There was a limit to the amount in taxes that farmers could be made to pay.

8.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.
(E) Further reclamation of land would not have been economically advantageous.
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 07 Jan 2008
Posts: 418
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 65 [0], given: 0

GMAT Tests User
Re: RC= Japan’s feudal overlords [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2008, 02:48
A
D
C
E
B

I can not find line 11-16 so I pick C for Q3.
Re: RC= Japan’s feudal overlords   [#permalink] 18 Jul 2008, 02:48
    Similar topics Author Replies Last post
Similar
Topics:
Passage 6 (6/63) In the eighteenth century, Japan's feudal Zatarra 4 22 Dec 2010, 04:13
In the eighteenth century, Japan’s feudal overlords, from th nsp007 7 07 May 2010, 23:26
In the eighteenth century, Japan's feudal overlords, from adiraju 5 08 Jul 2009, 07:15
In the eighteenth century, Japan�s feudal overlords, from atomy 1 03 Jun 2009, 05:07
Japan ritula 7 07 Oct 2008, 01:42
Display posts from previous: Sort by

RC= Japan’s feudal overlords

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  


cron

GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Privacy Policy| Terms and Conditions| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group and phpBB SEO

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.