Sapporo Agricultural College

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Sapporo Agricultural College (札幌農学校 Sapporo nōgakkō?) was a school in Sapporo established for the purpose of educating students who would be settled at Kaitakushi by the then-local government of Hokkaidō. It became part of Tohoku Imperial University in 1907, and was transferred to Hokkaido Imperial University (current Hokkaido University) in 1918.


Sapporo Agricultural College was founded as the Sapporo School in September 1875. It originally was called Kaitakushi Tentative School (開拓使仮學校 Kaitakushi karigakko?) founded in Tokyo in 1872.

It was renamed Sapporo Agricultural College one year later. The first president of the college was Zusho Hirotake. Dr. William Smith Clark, a graduate of Amherst College and the president of the Massachusetts Agricultural College was appointed as the vice president of the college. Clark taught in Sapporo only eight months but left a deep impact on the students. Specifically, his parting words, "Boys, be ambitious," have become among the most famous phrases in Japan. He was followed by William Penn Brooks, also from Massachusetts Agricultural College. As the second vice president, another American, Wheeler was invited. Cecil Peabody was a professor of mathematics (circa 1878 to 1882). This college is well known in Japan as a successful Japanese-English immersion school, which produced many good English speakers and writers. The early graduates, especially Classes 1880-1885, played a directional role in modernizing Japan.[1]

In September 1907, it became the College of Agriculture under Tohoku Imperial University in Sendai.

In April 1918, the Hokkaido Imperial University was established, and Sapporo Agricultural College was transferred to it.

Hokkaido Imperial University was renamed Hokkaido University in December 1947, a name it retains to this day. Thus, Sapporo Agricultural College remains as the Faculty of Agriculture of Hokkaido University.


  1. ^ Akaishi, K. (2010). Good foreign language learners: A case study on the graduates of Sapporo Agricultural College 1880-1885. Language & Culture (Special number), 1-293.