Ōyama Sutematsu

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Ōyama Sutematsu
In this Japanese name, the family name is Ōyama.

Ōyama Sutematsu (大山 捨松?, March 16, 1860 – February 18, 1919) (born Yamakawa Sutematsu) was a Japanese woman of the Meiji era, who was a prominent social figure. She was born in Aizu to a family of senior retainers serving Matsudaira Katamori. In December 1871 she was sent to the United States for study, as part of the Iwakura Mission. She was placed in the household of Leonard Bacon where she befriended his daughter Alice. The two lived like sisters for ten years learning each other's cultures. Sutematsu eventually graduated from Vassar College. Sutematsu's brothers, Yamakawa Kenjirō and Yamakawa Hiroshi, were famous in their own right, during the Meiji era.

Sutematsu married the Imperial Japanese Army general (and former Satsuma retainer) Ōyama Iwao; rather ironically, Ōyama had served as an artilleryman during the bombardment of Sutematsu's hometown of Aizu.

After Ōyama's death, Sutematsu died from the 1918 flu pandemic in 1919.


  • Hotta, Eri (2013). Japan 1941. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, pp. 83-85.
  • Kuno, Akiko (1993). Unexpected destinations : the poignant story of Japan's first Vassar graduate. New York: Kodansha International.
  • Methodist Episcopal Church. "Three Japanese Girls." The Heathen Woman's Friend. Vol. XXVII, July 1895, No. 1, Boston: Woman's Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1895.

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