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Is William S. Clark famous in the U.S., too?

By Yukitaka Ida
PUBLISHED September 28, 2016


The settling of Hokkaido began in earnest when the end of the samurai era was in sight. When Hokkaido was settled, many foreigners were invited there to teach about the latest European and American techniques in fields including agriculture, industry, mining, rail, architecture and education. The most famous among them was the first vice-principal of Sapporo Agricultural College (now Hokkaido University): William Smith Clark. His parting words to his students — "Boys, be ambitious" — are known throughout Japan. (However, there are various theories about the authenticity and meaning of the phrase.) There are two bronze statues of him. The one in Hitsujigaoka Park behind Sapporo Dome is pointing in the direction of the one at Hokkaido University itself. Everyone in Hokkaido knows about Clark, but how well-known is he in his home country the U.S.?

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