Genji Matsuda

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Genji Matsuda
松田 源治
Genji matsuda.jpg
Genji Matsuda
Born (1876-10-04)October 4, 1876
Oita Prefecture, Japan
Died February 2, 1936(1936-02-02) (aged 59)
Nationality Japan
Occupation Lawyer, Politician, Cabinet Minister
In this Japanese name, the family name is "Matsuda".

Genji Matsuda (松田 源治 Matsuda Genji ?, October 4, 1876 – February 1, 1936), was a politician and cabinet minister in the Empire of Japan, serving as a member of the Lower House of the Diet of Japan nine times, and twice holding cabinet-level posts.


Matsuda was born in Usa District, Oita prefecture, and was trained as a lawyer, graduating from the predecessor of Chuo University. He was first elected to the Lower House as a representative from Oita Prefecture in 1908. Joining the Rikken Seiyukai political party, he switched to the Seiyu Hontō in 1924, and Rikken Minseitō in 1927.

In October 1929, Matsuda was picked to be Minister of Colonial Affairs under the Hamaguchi administration, holding that post until April 1931. On July 8, 1934, he became Minister of Education under the Okada administration. During his tenure as Education Minister, he gained notoriety for a speech made on August 29, 1934 in which he blasted the use of the foreign words ‘mama’ and ‘papa’ by Japanese children when traditional Japanese words existed. The speech was widely reported in western media via Time Magazine, which also derided Matsuda for having previously stated that he was the "Lloyd George of the Far East" [1] Matsuda created further controversy in 1935, when he attempted to interfere in selection of works for display in the Niten Exhibition held by the Japan Art Academy.

Matsuda died in 1936. His grave is at the Tama Cemetery in Fuchū, Tokyo.[2]


Political offices
Preceded by
Tanaka Giichi
Minister of Colonial Affairs
Oct 1929 - Apr 1931
Succeeded by
Shūjirō Hara
Preceded by
Makoto Saitō
Minister of Education
Jul 1934- Feb 1936
Succeeded by
Takukichi Kawasaki