2015 Academic Year Secondary Examination: World History (NTCIR12 QALab-2 task's Sample Questions)


The following statement is Article 20 of the Constitution of Japan. Article 20. 1. Freedom of religion is guaranteed to all. No religious organization shall receive any privileges from the State, nor exercise any political authority. 2. No person shall be compelled to take part in any religious act, celebration, rite or practice. 3. The State and its organs shall refrain from religious education or any other religious activity. The concept of separation of church and state, as expressed in that article, gradually began to prevail in a number of nations from the second half of the 18th century, following the popular revolutions in the United States and France.
Prior to that time, how did political authorities around the world handle religion, religious schools, and people affiliated with them within their territories? Write a brief essay on this topic in the answer section (A), using no more than 20 lines. Be sure to list specific examples from West Europe, West Asia, and East Asia, up to and including the first half of the 18th century, and compare the characteristics that were apparent among those three regions. You must use each of the seven keywords at least once, and underline those keywords.
  • Jizya,
  • Acts of Supremacy,
  • Dalai Lama,
  • abolition of the Edict of Nantes,
  • millet system,
  • Lifan Yuan,
  • Landeskirche system


[1] From the end of the 19th century, the nationalist movement in the Indian subcontinent often faced difficult situations, due to conflict between Hindus and Muslims, and the British policies that fueled this conflict. In 300 words or less, describe the changes that occurred up to the Partition and Independence of India in 1947, with reference to the relationship between Hindus and Muslims in the nationalist movement of the Indian subcontinent and the differences in their standpoints, as well as the British policies concerned with the movement. Write your answer in the appropriate answer space. Punctuation marks are included in the character count.


[2] The Greeks called themselves "Hellenes" and their land "Hellas." In the wake of the eastern expedition led by Alexander the Great, aspects of Grecian culture and lifestyles spread widely throughout West Eurasia, leaving a significant impression that would affect the subsequent history of that region. In relation to the influence of this civilization called "Hellenism," answer the three questions below. Start a new line for every question you answer and write the corresponding number (1), (2) or (3) at the beginning of the line. *Editor’s note: One line consists of 30 characters.
Question (1) The Hellenistic civilization that spread throughout the Orient, or West Asia, also had an influence on India. The art form(s) that developed from around the 1st century in northwest India under the influence of Hellenism is/are particularly remarkable. Describe the characteristics of this art in no more than three lines.


[1] Read the following passage and answer the questions.
Since ancient times, many tribes, armies, and travelers have migrated, rushed, and travelled across Eurasia, from east to west and from west to east. Alexander the Great (1) marched all the way to the Indus River . During the Later Han era Gan Ying, dispatched to the Kingdom of Daqin by Ban Chao of the Protectorate of the Western Regions, reached the coast of the Mediterranean (or the Persian Gulf). The Huns, believed by some to be migrating Xiongnu, advanced from central Asia to eastern Europe, and, in the same way, the Avars advanced from central Asia to western Europe.
(2)Many Chinese monks traveled to India through central Asia in search of Buddhist texts. The Göktürks built a massive nomadic empire that controlled the grasslands to the Volga River, reaching the border of Sasanian Persia. Around this time, China engaged in flourishing trade with western countries, and (3)Nestorianism, (4)Zoroastrianism, and Manichaeism came into China.
The Mongols established the Mongol Empire, controlling the majority of Eurasia. After the breakup of the Mongol Empire, the Chagatai Khanate was established in central Asia, and the (5)Kipchak Khanate was established in the lower plains of the Volga River. Timur took advantage of chaos in the Chagatai Khanate to found the Timur Dynasty, moving west and defeating the Ottoman military. The Ottoman Dynasty moved into the Balkans, controlling the lower Danube River, and even (6)surrounded Vienna. Russia, after escaping from Mongol control, crossed the Urals (7)into Siberia, reaching the Sea of Okhotsk and the North Pacific Ocean, and (8)its territory bordered the Qing Empire.

Question 1 With regards to underlined section (1), the Gandhara style of art developed along the Indus River as a result of Alexander the Great's eastern campaign. Describe the Gandhara style of art.


[1] Each of the statements (a through t) below apply to one of 1 through 5( 1.The German Confederation 2.The German Empire 3.The Weimar Republic 4.The Third Reich 5.The Federal Republic of Germany ). Select the statements that apply to each item, and enter their letters in the corresponding answer space. Also enter answers to the questions regarding underlined sections and in the corresponding answer space.
  • aReichstag members were selected by popular elections by men, but the Chancellor was responsible only to the Emperor.
  • bFrance and Belgium occupied Ruhr on the grounds that Germany had failed to make reparations, causing unprecedented inflation and devastating the German economy. The Nazis rose to power amidst this chaos, seizing the reins of power.
  • cBased on the Vienna Protocol, the Republic was made up of 35 kingdoms and 4 free states.
  • dUnder the Anglo-German Naval Agreement, England permitted Germany to have a naval force 35% of the size of England's navy, confirming the remilitarization of Germany.
  • eThe Social Democratic Party and Liberal Democratic Party coalition cabinet approved the German Democratic Republic, and both East and West Germany joined the United Nations.
  • f The Berlin Conference approved, unconditionally, the agreement reached by both countries engaged in the Russo-Turkish War, and Germany positioned partnership with Russia as the chief axis of its foreign diplomacy.
  • gThe formation of the German Confederation caused the demise of the Holy Roman Empire.
  • hThe Enabling Act was the Nazi Constitution, and its ratification by the legislature made single-party rule by the Nazis possible
  • iThe League of Nations was history's first large-scale international organization whose goal was to bring about permanent global peace. When it was founded, Germany, which had lost the war, became a permanent member.
  • jThe Allied powers, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, and other nations signed the Treaty of Paris, but Germany did not participate, and the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Germany was decided by the Paris Agreements.
  • kBrandt, whose Eastern Policy was a success, went on to achieve the absorption of East Germany and the unification of Germany.
  • lThe Carlsbad Decrees were resolved by the Federal Convention, presided over by Austria.
  • mThe Frankfurt Assembly decided to dissolve the German Confederation, ending the German Confederation.
  • nThe German Empire was a federal nation, with each state having its own government and legislature.
  • oHindenburg, the second president of the Weimar Republic, was a member of the military, who achieved a miraculous victory at the Battle of Tannenberg, and was praised as a savior of the nation.
  • pThe Weimar Constitution was a democratic constitution that recognized universal voting rights for adult men and women, while at the same time investing significant power in the president, and paving the way for the shift to despotism.
  • qBismarck, the first chancellor of the German empire, skillfully combined ironfisted and welfare policies, successfully containing the socialist parties.
  • rGermany and Japan concluded the Anti-Comintern Pact, so when Japan left the League of Nations, Germany did as well.
  • sWhen the Hitler Cabinet was established, the Nazis were the leading party in the legislature, but it had not secured a majority position.
  • tThe Berlin Wall was built as a reaction to currency reforms, dividing Berlin into East and West Berlin.

Question ① What was the name of this agreement?


[3] Read the following text. In relation to the underlined sections (1) through (5), answer the [Questions] below. In addition, write the terms in kanji for blanks (A) through (J) in the corresponding answer section.
Looking back on the history of the eastern Eurasian continent, (1)it could be said that the 3rd century BC was a pivotal point in history at which nations successively emerged in the northern and southern regions of the continent. Those nations were based on different ways of living: either nomadic or agricultural. The Xiongnu, a nomadic nation, were located on the steppe that extended from the northern foot of the (A) Mountains to the Mongolian Plateau, whereas the Qin and the Han were located around the agricultural area in the Huangtu region. The historical framework for what followed in eastern Eurasia was created in the 3rd century BC, when all of those nations coexisted in the northern and southern parts of the continent.
The Xiongnu developed into a major nomadic empire in the 3rd century BC. Under the leadership of (B) Chanyu, they won an overwhelming victory over the Han army led by (C) , or Emperor Gaozu of Han, and gained the advantage in diplomatic relations with the Han. However, the conflict between the Xiongnu and the Han was eased due to a counter-attack by Emperor Wu of the Han against the Xiongnu in the second half of the 2nd century BC and the reconciliation that followed Emperor Wu's demise.
Nevertheless, the coexistence of nomadic states in the north and agricultural states in the south, started to become unbalanced. (2)A civil war was initiated by members of the Xi Jin royal family at the end of the 3rd century. In 316, the Xiongnu took the opportunity to destroy the Xi Jin, who had established their capital at (D) (for the first time since the Later Han Dynasty) at the time that the nation was created. That defeat opened the way for successive incursions by nomads into Northern China and marked the start of a turbulent period during which a number of nations would be established. That era, called the 'Period of Sixteen Kingdoms,' was terminated in 439 by the reunification of Northern China, which was accomplished by the Northern Wei, a nation founded by the (E) clan of the nomadic people of Xianbei. In contrast to the birth of a nation with powerful cavalry brigades in Northern China, (3)the Han people, who had fled to the Southern Yangtze area, founded the Southern Dynasty nations to confront the nomadic governments of the Northern Dynasties.
That era of Southern and Northern Dynasties came to a close at the end of the 6th century, when the Sui, based in Northern China, destroyed (F) , which was the last Southern Dynasty. The Tang followed the Sui to become a nation with an unprecedentedly vast territory incorporating both nomadic and agricultural areas, in the early 7th century, by expanding control from the Mongolian Plateau up to the area around the Pamir Mountains during the breakup of (G) , which had become the strongest nomadic state after the Xiongnu.
However, (4)the An Lushan Rebellion, which broke out in the mid-8th century, drastically changed the political climate in eastern Eurasia and again allowed the nomads to invade the agricultural regions in Northern China. Then, with the fall of Tang in the early 10th century and the coronation of (H) , or Emperor Taizu of the Later Liang, (I) became the Kagan of Khitan in the early 10th century. In 936, (J) , a half-nomadic, half-agricultural area in Northern China was ceded to Khitan, giving rise to yet another confrontation in eastern Eurasia between strong nomadic nations in the north and agricultural nations in the south. That confrontation gave way to the relationship between the Jin Dynasty of the Jurchen people and the Southern Song from the 12th through 13th centuries, reproducing the Period of Southern and Northern Dynasties: nomadic non-Han nations in Northern China, and Han nations in the agricultural Southern Yangtze area. (5)That historical experience of north-south coexistence and confrontation, stretching over a period of more than 1000 years still has a significant influence on current political, economic, and cultural conditions on the Chinese continent.

(1) The foundation of subsequent Chinese philosophy was established in the 3rd century BC. The Qin Shi Huang, who unified China in 221 BC, suppressed the thoughts and opinions of a philosophical school that would later represent the political ideology of China. Write in the name of that act of suppression, using four kanji characters.


[3] Throughout human history, innumerable groups and associations have been organized. Besides those aimed at promoting charity, mutual aid and friendship, there were some religious, political, or secret societies that came into conflict with governing authorities. In relation to these groups and societies, answer the questions below using the answer section (C). Begin a new line for every question you answer and state the corresponding number (1) to (10) at the beginning.
Question (1) In China at the end of the 18th century, a religious organization based on eschatological belief in the advent of Maitreya emerged along the boundary between Sichuan and Hubei provinces with the objective of changing the state of the world. However, that movement was suppressed by militias, including that of the Xiangyong. Write in the name given to the rebellion that was attempted by that religious organization.

[3] Read passages 1 and 2 below, and answer questions A, B, and C.
1 The Maurya Empire, said to be the first unified empire in Indian history, reached its peak during the reign of Emperor Ashoka. After his death, India went through a period of fragmentation, but eventually the Kushan Empire was formed, centered in northwestern India, reaching its peak under Emperor Kanishka in the mid-2nd century. In the early 4th century the Gupta Empire was formed in the Magadha area. It expelled the remnants of the weakened Kushan Empire, controlling all of northern India and extending its power into southern India as well. The classical culture of India culminated under this empire, and the native religions of India fused with Brahmanism, becoming Hinduism, which exerted a profound influence on peoples' lives. Buddhism gradually lost influence in the face of these events, but it is notable that with the construction of Nalanda University by ( 1 ) , the university became a center for the study of Buddhist doctrine, and purely Indian Buddhist art was established. After the fall of the Gupta Empire, in the early 7th century Harsha Vardhana created the Vardhana Empire, with its royal capital in A , unifying northern India, but when the king died, India once again entered a long period of division.

2 In 1876 when Japan, which had signed the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1876, moved into the Kingdom of Joseon, the tension between progressives and conservatives within Joseon grew, and there was financial chaos. In the 1880s there were two political changes in the capital, Hanyang. Conflict between Japan and China regarding Joseon intensified, and 1894 the Donghak Revolution (Gabo Peasant Revolution) triggered the First Sino-Japanese War. The defeated Qing withdrew from Joseon, but the Tripartite Intervention led to Joseon, which had close relations with Russia, establishing a pro-Russia administration. In 1897 Joseon's position as a vassal state to the Qing was ended, and the name of the Kingdom of Joseon was changed to the Korean Empire.
In 1905 Japan, winner of the Russo-Japanese War, drove out the Russian forces, installed a Resident-General, and strengthened its hold. In response, the Korean Emperor sent delegates to the Hague Peace Conference of 1907 to complain of Japanese interference, but their pleas were not accepted, and instead Japan used this as an opportunity to remove the Emperor and strengthen their hold on Korea. In 1909 Ito Hirobumi visited ( 2 ) to improve Japan-Russia relations and was assassinated by a Korean nationalist. In 1910, the next year, Japan annexed Korea, renamed Hanyang B , and installed the Governor-General of Korea.

Question A Select the most appropriate terms from choices a through e for each of blanks ( 1 ) through ( 2 ), and write the corresponding letter in the appropriate space on the answer sheet.
( 1 )
  • aChandragupta
  • bNagarjuna
  • cChandragupta II
  • dKumaragupta I
  • eChandragupta I

( 2 )
  • aVladivostok
  • bIrkutsk
  • cKhabarovsk
  • dKyakhta
  • eHarbin



[2] In the texts (AB) below, enter the most appropriate phrase in and answer the following questions regarding the underlined sections (1)(10). Write all your answers in the appropriate answer spaces.
AThe fact that since ancient times maps of very high precision were created in China was demonstrated by the (1)silk maps found in tombs from the 2nd century BC, excavated in 1973 in Mawangdui in Changsha, Hunan province. Descriptions of maps in literature are certainly few. The "Guanzi", considered to be written by politician Guan Zhong, who served under a , the first of the Five Hegemons, contains a "maps" section, which highlights the military importance of maps. In addition, in the "Zhan Guo Ce", it was written that when Su Qin urged a policy of alliance with the Prince of Zhao, he emphasized, (2)after discussing the geographical features of the Zhao state, that the territories of the feudal lords were five times the size of those of the Qin, based on a "map of the world." This mention of maps is exceptional, however. The military usefulness of maps would be particularly stressed in the age of rival warlords, but no detailed descriptions of how maps were drawn or utilized are to be found.
It is reported that the maps possessed by the Qin, who "unified the world," were seized when the army of Liu Bang occupied the Qin capital of b . When he compiled the Treatise on Geography in the "Book of Han" c was able to refer to these maps. However, when Pei Xiu of the Jin Dynasty was creating maps by comparing the descriptions of the "Tribute of Yu", of the d , one of the Five Classics, with the place names of the Jin era, the Qin maps could no longer be seen. In the case of Han era maps too, it is difficult to draw any detailed cartographic information from the literature. For example, the "topographic maps" created by Zhang Heng, the author of the (3)"Eastern Metropolis Rhapsody," are mentioned in the (4)"ancient pictures and rare drawings" section of the "Record of Famous Painters of All the Dynasties" along with the maps of Pei Xiu, but it is not known what kind of maps they were. In this sense, the discovery of the maps at Mawangdui, which show what maps of the Han era actually looked like, was an unprecedented event.
As also made clear by the fact that the work of Pei Xiu correlates with the "Tribute of Yu", the descriptions in the "Tribute of Yu" of the tribute offered to Yu the Great in Xia and of the mountains and rivers of different areas, along with the geography-related descriptions in (5)the "Rites of Zhou", which presents an idealistic depiction of Zhou era systems, had a great influence on the geographical sense of Chinese people, and these texts have continued to be much studied through the ages. (6)Cheng Dachang's "Yugong Lun" and "Yugong Shanchuan Dili Tu " written in the latter half of the 12th century and the "Yugong Zhuizhi" presented by Hu Wei to the Emperor e who made an imperial tour of Jiangnan in 1705, are typical examples. Also, the "Clan Responsibilities" in the "Rites of Zhou" defined the duty of "managing the map of the world, " and in later generations this name has been carried by the bureaus in charge of maps. In (7)"Chronicle of Foreign Lands" (completed in 1623), a book of world geography written by the Jesuit Giulio Aleni, who was active in China, shows that the book was dealing with the areas outside of those covered by the Clan Responsibilities. It could be said that the traditional geographical outlook of Chinese intellectuals was shaped by these descriptions in the "Tribute of Yu" and "Clan Responsibilities" and by the geography book f , written by Li Daoyuan in the period of the Northern and Southern dynasties.


[1] Which of statements a through d regarding battles (1) through (10) below, and related events, is/are incorrect? Write the answers in the appropriate spaces on the answer sheet. Also enter answers to the questions regarding underlined sections in the specified answer area.
Battle of Leipzig:

  • aThis battle was the most decisive battle of the Wars of Liberation, in which the allied armies of Prussia, Austria, Russia, and others defeated Napoleon.
  • bIn Russia, large scale reforms, including the elimination of serfdom, paved the way for this victory.
  • cParis fell in the following year, Napoleon abdicated, and the French hegemony was dismantled.
  • dLeipzig was the city where theological debates had once been held regarding Luther's theses.



[2] Read the following passage and answer the questions.
A , which had advanced into the east Mediterranean in the 11th century, threatened the Byzantine Empire, and the Byzantine emperor sought aid from the Roman Pope. In 1095 the pope B held a council in (1)Clermont, where he proposed the Crusades, to enthusiastic support. The First Crusade was launched in 1096 and founded the Kingdom of (2)Jerusalem in 1099. However, the Fourth Crusade, started by Pope C in 1202, pressed by the demands of (3)Venetian merchants, occupied (4)Constantinople and built D , completely failing its original objective of reclaiming the Holy Land.
The unorthodox E , which had spread through southern France in the 13th century, were wiped out during the reign of French king F . This resulted in royal authority extending into southern France. In the early 14th century French king G moved the Holy See to (5)Avignon, where it lay under French control for approximately 70 years. In order to rein in the chaos of the Western Schism, the Council of (6)Constance was held in 1414. This council had H burned at the stake as a heretic.
Criticism of the Catholic church, which arose from around the 14th century, resulted in the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. The 95 Theses of Luther, professor of theology at the University of (7)Wittenberg, had a tremendous impact throughout Germany. I , influenced by this Lutheran thought, led a peasant war, and was executed. In Switzerland, J led the Protestant Reformation in Zurich, and Calvin led the Protestant Reformation in (8)Geneva. In response to the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic church held a council in (9)Trent in 1545, engaging in internal reforms.

Question 1 Enter the appropriate words in blanks A through J.
Question 2 Select the locations on the map which correspond to underlined sections (1) through (9), and write the corresponding numbers.

(Note) The lines on the map indicate current national borders.



[3] Read the following passage and answer the questions.
In February 1972 United States of America (1)president Nixon landed at Beijing Airport under clear skies. Efforts to improve relations between the US and China (2)later resulted in the normalization of diplomatic relations between the countries, but behind that normalization lay the issue of (3)the risk of war between China and the USSR.
(4)Ever since the Opium Wars in the first half of the 19th century, (5)many unequal treaties had been forced on modern China as a result of the advances of the Western powers. The strong stance of the Qing Dynasty, which had (6)bluntly repudiated the trading improvement requests of a British foreign diplomat visiting China at the end of the 18th century, was no longer anywhere to be seen. China's defeat in the First Sino-Japanese War at the end of the 19th century signaled the end to (7)the pre-modern China-centered international order of East Asia.

Question 2 With regards to underlined section (2), what year, in Western calendar notation, were diplomatic relations established between the US and China?

[3] In reference to the chronological table of modern Chinese historical events shown below, answer the following [Questions] concerning the underlined sections (1) through (10), and write your responses on the answer sheet. Write your answers in kanji except for (2), (4), and (10).
1840 (1)Opium War (-1842)
1842 Treaty of Nanking
1844 Treaty of Wanghia and Treaty of Whampoa
1851 Taiping Rebellion (-1864)
1860 (2)Convention of Peking
1884 Sino-French War (-1885)
1894 First Sino-Japanese War (-1895)
1898 (3)Coup of 1898
1900 (4)Boxer Rebellion (-1901)
1905 (5)Foundation of the Chinese United League
1911 Xinhai Revolution
1912 Establishment of the Republic of China
1915 (6)Twenty-one Demands
1919 May Fourth Movement
1921 (7)Foundation of the Communist Party of China
1924 First United Front
1927 Dissolution of United Front
1931 Manchurian Incident
1932 Shanghai Incident
1934 (8)Start of the Long March (-1936)
1936 Xian Incident
1937 (9)Second United Front
Nanking Massacre
1949 (10)Establishment of the People's Republic of China

(10) All of the following events took place after the Establishment of the People's Republic of China. Arrange them in chronological order and write in the corresponding letters.
A. Official recognition of the People's Republic of China by France B. Enactment of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China C. Conclusion of the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance D. Outbreak of the Sino-Indian Border Conflict