Suematsu Kenchô was a prominent official in the Meiji government, and translator of literature.
Suematsu attracted the attention of Itô Hirobumi in 1875 and by 1878 was appointed to the staff of the Japanese Legation in England. In 1881, while a student at Cambridge, Suematsu composed a number of reports on the English monarchy for Imperial Household Minister Tokudaiji Sanenori.
Following his return to Japan, Suematsu became intimately involved in political circles, serving in the National Diet and in a number of cabinet positions. He married a daughter of Itô Hirobumi in 1889, and in 1906 joined the Privy Council.
Suematsu published the first translation into English of a significant portion of the Tale of Genji, as well as a number of translations of works of English literature into Japanese.
- Takashi Fujitani, Splendid Monarchy, University of California Press (1996), 155, 271n1.