The New Japanese SAT

TOKYO, April 5The Education Ministry on Tuesday approved a controversial new series of school textbooks that critics say whitewash Japan's militaristic past … Some schoolbook publishers and government officials have argued that it is time to remove "self-deprecating" historical references.—The Washington Post

Multiple Choice

1. What historically significant event occurred on December 7?

a.) Woodrow Wilson declared war on Austria, in 1917.

b.) Admiral William Bligh, of HMS Bounty fame, died in 1817, regretting that he never had the opportunity to visit Japan.

c.) Charles Brooks Jr. became the first American to be executed by lethal injection, in Texas, in 1982.

d.) U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull flouted diplomatic protocol by speaking in a rude and disrespectful manner to Japanese imperial ambassadors in Washington, in 1941.

2. The cry "Tora! Tora! Tora!" is heard at:

a.) Pamplona, Spain, to warn runners that a female bull is approaching.

b.) Ascot, England, to compliment ladies on their hats.

c.) Synagogues during bat- and bar-mitzvah ceremonies.

d.) Japanese baseball games when Toshimura Tora (No. 39) steps up to bat.

3. Which of the following statements most accurately describes America's President Franklin Roosevelt?

a.) A fanatical, Supreme Court—packing bigot intent on ending the Depression by fomenting war with Japan.

b.) A philandering, wheelchair-bound, stamp-collecting tyrant.

c.) Invited Imperial Japanese Navy to participate in a "friendship mission" by flying over Hawaii, and then perfidiously ordered U.S. Navy to open fire.

d.) All of the above.

4. What was the main objective of the Divine Wind Squadron in 1944 and 1945?

a.) To bring oboe and clarinet concerti to remote areas of the Pacific.

b.) To entertain the emperor and his court with works by the French fin-de-siècle performance artist Le Petomane.

c.) To win the America's Cup for Japan, despite the New York Yacht Club's disqualifying Japan's boat for allegedly concealing a Kaiten-type "human torpedo" in its keel.

d.) Parts of all of the above.

5. Historians agree that Japan's doctrine of "pre-emption" in Hawaii was directly responsible for:

a.) The long-overdue emergence of America as a benign hegemon.

b.) The development of nuclear power as a promising new energy source.

c.) The story line of the award-winning Snow Falling on Cedars.

d.) The drafting of Hideki Matsui by the New York Yankees.

6. The term "comfort women" refers to:

a.) 200,000 Chinese and Korean females invited to Japan between 1939 and 1945, as honored guests with all expenses paid, for the purpose of experiencing Japanese culture and customs and promoting friendship and understanding.

b.) Prostitutes in the southern United States.

c.) Female interns in the White House.

d.) Wives of Donald Trump.

7. "Bataan Death March" refers to:

a.) A Seattle grunge band.

b.) Hole No. 5 at Osaka Golf and Country Club.

c.) A badly maintained highway west of Manila Bay.

d.) A lesser-known funereal composition by F. Chopin.

8. What took place at Los Alamos?

a.) A handful of Americans briefly held off the entire Mexican Army.

b.) American scientists unearthed prehistoric winged monsters with which to attack an unsuspecting Japan.

c.) American scientists devised an inexpensive car-rental agency.

d.) "Good" American Robert Oppenheimer was overcome with remorse after unleashing supernatural evil and was persecuted by the U.S. government for the rest of his life.

For Extra Credit

1. Hirohito : Roosevelt ~

a.) Jupiter : Pluto

b.) Joan of Arc : Joan Collins

c.) Gold : Lead

d.) Chrysanthemum : Ragweed

Presented by

Christopher Buckley

Christoper Buckley is an author, satirist, and novelist. His books include Thank You for Smoking and Supreme Courtship. Buckley was chief speechwriter for Vice President George H.W. Bush.

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