Suematsu Kencho (末松謙澄)

Kencho SUEMATSU (September 30, 1855 - October 5, 1920) was a politician during the Meiji and Taisho period. He was a viscount.
His childhood name was Senmatsu


Kencho SUEMATSU was the fourth son of Nobuko and Shichiuemon SUEMATSU, a wealthy village headman of Maeda Mura Village, Buzen Province (presently known as Yukuhashi City, Fukuoka Prefecture).

He became a reporter for Tokyo Nichinichi Newspaper Company and wrote for the editorial column. Kencho moved to London as a diplomat and studied at University of Cambridge after receiving help from Hirobumi ITO, Kencho's father-in-law. He held various posts, which included a member of the House of Representatives, the Minister of Communications, and the Minister of Home Affairs (Japan).

His personality

He produced the first English translation of "Tale of Genji" during his assignment in London.

His thesis, "The theory of Yoshitsune = Genghis Khan"was published in England and created a great sensation in Japan.

In 1886, during the period of Rokumeikan, Kencho initiated movement for improving theatrical performance in order to modernize Kabuki according to ITO's wish.

He explained the status of Japan in Europe by traveling to England during the Russo-Japanese War.

Upon the Mouri clan's request, Kencho extensively studied the history of Choshu and compiled his research in "Bochokaitenshi," which is considered to be an invaluable document regarding the restoration history.

Kencho is the great uncle of Kenichi SUEMATSU, the grandson of Kencho's younger brother and ex-president of Sakura Bank.

His family and relatives

His wife's name was Ikuko (the oldest daughter of Hirobumi ITO, a politician from the Yamaguchi Prefecture).