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William S. Clark and Hokkaido

In 1876, Clark was invited by the government of Japan to establish the Sapporo Agricultural College, now Hokkaido University. Following the Meiji Restoration in 1867, the new Imperial government of Japan set out upon a path of rapid modernization and recruited many European and American academics and military experts to help expedite the process. These men were referred to by the Japanese government as Oyatoi gaikokujin or "hired foreigners."
Seeking a model agricultural college, Mori Arinori, the Japanese Minister to the United States, asked Horace Capron, Commissioner of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for a recommendation. Capron recommended MAC. After visiting the college, Minister Mori later recommended Clark as the ideal candidate to establish SAC.
File:William S. Clark.jpg
(William S. Clark)

Clark signed his contract with the Japanese government on March 3, 1876, in Washington, DC. Due to inconsistencies in translation, discrepancies exist to this day as to what Clark’s official title was. According to biographer John Maki, the Japanese and English versions of Clark’s contract differed on this point. The Japanese version named Clark, "head teacher (namely, assistant director)." Because of this, in Japan, Clark has been referred to as "assistant director" or sometimes "vice-president" of SAC. However, in the English version of the contract, "the word ‘President’ was inserted into the text and initialed by Yoshida [the Japanese Minister to the United States]." Regardless of title, Clark enjoyed the complete support of the Japanese government in organizing SAC and he exerted principal authority over the college while he was in Japan.

Clark spent eight months in Sapporo from 1876 to 1877. After enduring negative press in Massachusetts, he was pleased with the enthusiastic cooperation he received from the Japanese government. SAC was organized in just one month. Clark wrote to his wife, "I am actually rebuilding MAC ... on the other side of the earth." In establishing SAC, Clark introduced the first American model farm and barn in Japan and the first college military unit in the country. He also introduced new crops and new techniques in agriculture, fishing, and animal husbandry.
File:NSRW Amherst College.png
(Amherst College chapel and original dormitories c. 1914)

Clark’s direct superior while working at SAC was the Governor of Hokkaido (and future Prime Minister of Japan) Kuroda Kiyotaka. The two men respected one another very much and shared a bond in that they both had past military experience. Their positive relationship facilitated Clark’s many accomplishments while in Sapporo and accounted for the wide latitude Clark was given in implementing not just SAC programs, but also his influence on the colonial development of Hokkaido.

Hokkaido represented the Japanese frontier at that time and with so much work to be done in colonizing the island, Kuroda welcomed and frequently implemented Clark’s advice. Clark submitted recommendations to the governor on such diverse subjects as converting migratory fisherman into permanent colonists and establishing a textiles industry. In fact, Clark himself was taken aback by the apparent scope of his influence on colonial affairs, writing to his wife, “Governor Kuroda consults me constantly and always follows my advice.” He later wrote, “I tremble to think how much confidence is reposed in me and what responsibilities I am daily assuming.”
File:Sapporo Clock Tower Hokkaido Japan.jpg
(The Sapporo Clock Tower, of Western architectural design, was formerly the drill hall of the Sapporo
Agricultural College. Built in 1878 and now a museum, it is one of the city's best known historic landmarks.)

Clark not only had a significant impact on colonial development, but also had a powerful personal effect on the first students of SAC. The same rhetoric of ambition and personal elevation he had employed at MAC resonated more deeply with his Japanese students and, further, with a Japanese nation just emerging from a rigid feudal caste system. During classroom lectures, informal evening talks, and outings to collect botanical specimens, Clark discussed morality and urged his students to, "Be gentlemen."

Despite the fact that teaching of the Bible was forbidden in government schools, Clark managed, after considerable effort, to secure approval from Kuroda to make use of the Bible during ethics instruction. In doing so, Clark introduced Christian principles to the first entering class of the college. They, in turn, influenced the students in the second class who enrolled after Clark's departure. In 1877, shortly after Clark's departure, 31 students of SAC converted to Christianity, signing a document drafted by Clark titled, "The Covenant of Believers in Jesus." Some of them later played important roles in the fields of Christianity, education, and international relations during Japan's continuing modernization in the early 20th century. Alumni such as Uchimura Kanzō (Christian thinker and evangelist) and Nitobe Inazo (Quaker, educator and diplomat), still known nationwide in Japan, were from the second entering class of the College.

During his stay in Japan, Clark examined its flora, and was the means of introducing new species of shade trees into the United States. He also sent to Massachusetts a large assortment of seeds, many of which proved of special value to his own state, on account of the high latitude from which they were selected. In Teine-ku, Sapporo, he discovered a new lichen on the side of Mt. Teine, at an elevation of 3,200 feet, which was named Cetraria clarkii, in his honor, by Edward Tuckerman.

On the day of Clark's departure, April 16, 1877, students and faculty of SAC rode with him as far as the village of Shimamatsu, then 13 miles (21 km) outside of Sapporo. As recalled by one of the students, Masatake Oshima, after saying his farewells, Clark shouted, "Boys, be ambitious!" Several differing versions of Clark's parting words persist today including, "Boys, be ambitious, like this old man!" and, "Boys, be ambitious for Christ!" A painting of Clark's departure, rendered in 1971, hangs in the Prefectural Capitol building in Sapporo and includes a lengthier version of his parting words, "Boys, be ambitious! Be ambitious not for money or for selfish aggrandizement, not for that evanescent thing which men call fame. Be ambitious for that attainment of all that a man ought to be."

By T.S. on July 23, 2010
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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。