Gregory Clark, 75, is the Honorary President of Tama University and Trustee of Akita International University in Japan. A prolific writer, with a background in economics and international politics, his opinionated investigative pieces often spark intensive debates. His 1978 book “The Japanese Tribe: Origins of a Nation’s Uniqueness” explored what he saw as the differences between the rationalistic, ideological societies of the West and China, and the emotional/practical Japanese. The book stirred strong feelings from both sides of the argument.

Clark’s personal story reads like a brilliant novel: Born in Britain as the son of a famous economist, Colin Grant Clark, Gregory moved to Australia with his family as a boy. He entered the Australian foreign service and from 1959 was stationed in Hong Kong and later in Moscow. Fluent in Chinese and Russian (and now also Japanese and Spanish), he abruptly left the Australian foreign service in 1965 due to his strong opposition to the Vietnam War. He turned to academia, with a spell in journalism, and has been living in Japan on and off since 1969. Although education and writing are his fortes, Clark’s passion is more grounded: He is also a farmer and land developer in Chiba Prefecture’s Boso Peninsula, where he prefers to play with dirt rather than with politics.

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