Algernon Mitford

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Algernon Bertram Mitford, Lord Redesdale, was a British diplomat of the Bakumatsu and Meiji periods, who visited Japan in 1866-1867, and again in 1906.

He published a volume entitled Tales of Old Japan in London in 1871; this was the first English translation of Japanese literature to be commercially mass-produced. The volume included forty pages of woodblock illustrations commissioned from Japanese artists.[1]

His 1906 trip was undertaken in order to formally bestow the Order of the Garter upon the Meiji Emperor. As part of the festivities and entertainments prepared for his visit, a sankin kôtai procession was recreated; having seen genuine sankin kôtai processions in the 1860s, he commented on how powerfully it evoked an image or idea of the feudal past.


  • Constantine Vaporis, "Lordly Pageantry: The Daimyo Procession and Political Authority." Japan Review 17 (2005), 4.
  1. Michael Emmerich, "Discoveries in Japanese Literature: Notes on the Beginnings of Translation History," talk given at UC Santa Barbara, 1 November 2017.