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Reading Comprehension Quiz
Reading Passage 5

Read the passage below in blue, take your time. Then answer the three comprehension test questions.

For each multiple choice question select the answer from (a) to (e) that you feel best answers the question.

When you have answered each test question to the best of your ability go to the bottom of the page and click on "Grade Test" to see your score.

You will find the correct answers given in the box below. If you would like to try the test again, click "Clear All" to repeat the test.

Practice and learn from these English comprehension questions.

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Reading Comprehension Paragraph

The poetic expressiveness and creativity of Japanese women poets of the Manyoshu era is generally regarded as a manifestation of the freedom and relatively high political and economic status women of that era enjoyed. During the Heian period (A.D. 794-1185) which followed, Japanese women became increasingly relegated to domestic roles under the influence of Buddhism and Confucianism, which excluded women from the political and economic arenas. Yet, since poetry of the period came to be defined solely as short lyrical poetry, known as waka, and became the prevailing means of expressing love, women continued to excel in and play a central role in the development of classical Japanese poetry. Moreover, while official Japanese documents were written in Chinese, the phoenetic alphabet kana was used for poetry. Also referred to as onna moji ("women's letters"), kana was not deemed sufficiently sophisticated for use by Japanese men, who continued to write Chinese poetry, increasingly for expressing religious ideas and as an intellectual pastime. Chinese poetry ultimately yielded, then, to waka as the mainstream of Japanese poetry.

Reading Comprehension Question

1. Based on the passage, mainstream Japanese poetry of the Heian period can best be described as ............ .

A. philosophical in its concern
B. more refined than the poetry of the Manyoshu era
C. an outgowth of Buddhism and Confucianism
D. sentimental in nature and lyrical in style
E. written primarily for a female audience

Reading Comprehension Question

2. Which of the following statements about kana finds the LEAST support in the passage?

A. It was based on the sound of the Japanese language
B. It was used primarily by Japanese women
C. It was used for Japanese poetry but not for Japanese prose
D. It was used in Japan after A.D. 793
E. It was considered inappropriate for austere subject matter

Reading Comprehension Question

3. The author's primary purpose in the passage is to ............................ .

A. refute a common explanation for the role of women in the development of Japanese poetry
B. identify the reasons for the popularity of a distinct form of literary expression in Japan
C. distinguish between the Japanese poetry of one historical period with that of another
D. trace the influence of religion on the development of Japanese poetry
E. provide an explanation for the role of women in the development of Japanese poetry

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