CHINDA, Class of 1881
Lord Chamberlain to the Emperor
Ambassador to England, Germany, and the U.S.
December 24, 1856 - January 16, 1929
The cherry blossom trees that surround the Washington, DC Tidal Basin
were a gift from the people of Japan in 1912. The first 3,000 trees
arrived on March 27, 1912, and First Lady Helen Taft planted the first
tree in West Potomac Park.
The second tree was planted by Viscountess
Chinda, wife of Japanese Ambassador Count Sutemi Chinda.
of a Cherry Blossom Festival to mark the arrival of spring in
Washington, DC began in 1935. The celebration became known as the
National Cherry Blossom Festival in 1941.
the summer of 1877 four Japanese young men arrived in Greencastle, sent
to study at the university by Indiana Asbury alumnus John Ing, one of the
founders of the Psi Phi chapter of Deke, who directed a mission school in Hirosaki, Japan.
All were professed Christians of the samurai class with little financial
resources, but willing to work.
Fluent in English from their training under Ing, they also earned some
of their expenses by lecturing and preaching in the neighborhood. They
found general acceptance in the college and the community, and were
pledged by social fraternities. Izumi Nasu and Sutemi Chinda,
Two who attained international distinction were Chinda and
Aimaro Sato, who also became brothers-in-law when Chinda married the
latter's sister after graduation. Both
Chinda and Sato entered the Japanese foreign service, and both served as
ambassadors to the United States as well as in other important posts.
The other Deke, Izumi Nasu, translated the Iliad into Japanese.
SUTEMI CHINDA was born December 24, 1856
in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture,
Japan and died in Japan, January 16, 1929.
He married Sato in
1882, and they had a son, Hideho. After graduating from Indiana Asbury
University (DePauw, A.B. 1881, A.M. 1884), Chinda returned to Japan,
where he entered the foreign service. He later served as Ambassador to
Germany (1908-1911), to the United States (1911-1914) and to England
(1914-1920). He also served as Japan's representative to the Paris Peace
Conference in 1918 and was serving as Lord Chamberlain to the Emperor at
the time of his death.