Chinda Sutemi

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Chinda Sutemi
Picture of Chinda Sutemi.jpg
Chinda Sutemi, by Harris & Ewing.
Born(1857-01-19)January 19, 1857
DiedJanuary 16, 1929(1929-01-16) (aged 71)
Other names珍田 捨巳

Count Chinda Sutemi (珍田 捨巳, January 19, 1857 – January 16, 1929) was a Japanese diplomat.

Diplomatic career[edit]

He was born January 19, 1857 in Hirosaki, Aomori.

In 1877 he went to study at DePauw University.[1] He got his B.A. in 1881, and M.A. in 1884. In 1882 he married, and had one son.[2]

From 1890 to 1894, Chinda served as Japanese Consul in San Francisco, California. In 1897 Chinda was appointed first Japanese Minister Plenipotentiary to Brazil, following the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two states in 1895.[3] He served as Japanese Ambassador to Germany from 1908 to 1911, to the United States from 1912 to 1916 and to the United Kingdom from 1916 to 1920, during which time he also took part in the Japanese delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, 1919.

He was also a Methodist minister.

Ambassador Chinda Sutemi and his wife Japanese Viscountess Chinda Iwa were two of the diplomats involved with the Japanese gifting of the cherry blossom trees to Washington, D.C. in 1912. As official representatives of Japan, Ambassador Sutemi Chinda and his wife, Japanese Viscountess Iwa Chinda, joined with President Taft's wife, First Lady Helen Herron Taft on March 27th, 1912. Each woman planted one of the recently arrived Yoshino cherry trees in the nation's capital onto the northern bank of the then empty landscape around the Washington, D.C. Tidal Basin, about 125 feet south of what is now Independence Avenue, SW. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the first lady presented a bouquet of "American Beauty" roses to Viscountess Chinda. Washington's renowned National Cherry Blossom Festival grew from this simple ceremony, witnessed by just a few persons. These two original trees still stand several hundred yards west of the John Paul Jones Memorial, located at the terminus of 17th Street, SW. Situated near the bases of the trees is a large bronze plaque which commemorates the occasion. This gift was officially seen as coming from the capital city of Japan, Tokyo, to the capital city of the United States, Washington, D.C. The illustrated biography The Art of Peace presents Prince Iyesato Tokugawa and his Japanese allies’ pivotal involvement in bringing about the gifting of these cherry blossom trees as a means of promoting international goodwill. The 1912 photo illustration to the right presents Ambassador Sutemi Chinda Sutemi and his wife, [4]

In 1915, while Count Chinda Sutemi was the Japanese Ambassador to the United States he greeted the visiting Japanese statesmen Baron Eiichi Shibusawa when Shibusawa visited New York City. The 1915 photo illustration to the right presents Chinda at the event honoring the visit of Baron Shibusawa which was attended by two former U.S. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.[5] [6]

1915 - Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Chinda Sutemi greets the visiting Japanese statesmen Baron Shibusawa Eiichi during a diplomatic banquet in New York City.


From the Japanese Wikipedia article


  • Baron (21 September 1907)
  • Viscount (24 August 1911)
  • Count (7 September 1920)

Decorations (Japanese)[edit]

Court order of precedence[edit]

  • Seventh rank (27 November 1886)
  • Sixth rank (21 December 1891)
  • Senior sixth rank (20 September 1895)
  • Senior fifth rank (20 August 1897)
  • Fourth rank (31 January 1901)
  • Senior fourth rank (20 March 1906)
  • Third rank (30 April 1909)
  • Senior third rank (11 May 1914)
  • Second rank (30 May 1921)
  • Senior second rank (1 June 1928)
  • First rank (16 January 1929)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "DePauw University: A Pictorial History". Archived from the original on 2010-07-13. Retrieved 2010-02-18.
  2. ^ A Washington Post article on March 25, 2010 stated that Chinda had two (not one) sons, one of whom died during the explosion at sea of a Japanese warship during the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895, and the other of whom committed suicide by hanging in the US shortly after completing work for an MA and before Chinda and his wife transferred from Washington to London.
  3. ^ Masaharu Nanami, The Japan Times, April 3, 2008 Building of first Japan legation to Brazil found
  4. ^ Katz, Stan S. (2019). The Art of Peace. California: Horizon Productions. pp. Chapter 12. ISBN 978-0-9903349-2-7.
  5. ^ Katz, Stan S. (2019). The Art of Peace. California: Horizon Productions. p. 179. ISBN 978-0-9903349-2-7.
  6. ^ "Introduction to The Art of Peace: the illustrated biography of Prince Iyesato Tokugawa". 2020.

Further reading[edit]