chapter  12
11 Pages

American Professors in the Development of Hokkaido: The Case of the Sapporo Agricultural College (SAC)

WithAkizuki Toshiyuki

Foreigners employed by the Hokkaido Colonization Commission (Kaitakushi) during the early Meiji period were generally called oyatoi kyoshi, or "foreign teachers". This suggests that they were expected to play a dual role as teachers, in addition to fulfilling their duties as technical specialists assisting in development work. There were, in fact, many instances where these men taught in schools established by the Kaitakushi. With the establishment of the Sapporo Agricultural College (SAC) in August 1876, a total of thirty-seven hired foreigners had left, leaving only sixteen in place. Kuroda Kiyotaka, the Governor of the Kaitakushi, was eager to improve the education of young people. As his office was in need of Japanese specialists to assist in the development of Hokkaido, he arranged to send thirty-three students abroad during 1871-1872. Among them were five young women, including Tsuda Umeko, founder of Tsuda College. In every annual report of SAC their contributions to the Kaitakushi were recorded with a sense of pride.