1891: Russian Tsesarevich Wounded in Japan and Rescued by Greek Prince

1891: Russian Tsesarevich Wounded in Japan and Rescued by Greek Prince
Photo Credit To http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d0/Prince_Nicolas_at_Nagasaki.jpg

Tsesarevich Nicholas survived and, three years later, inherited the Russian imperial throne as Emperor Nicholas II.

On this day an assassination attempt on the Russian Tsesarevich Nicholas (the future emperor Nicholas II, who was killed by the Bolsheviks after the October Revolution) took place in Japan. Nicholas was only 22 years old at the time of the assassination attempt and he found himself in Japan as a part of a tour across Asia (he visited Egypt, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Japan).

The assassination attempt occurred near Kyoto and was carried out by Tsuda Sanzō, one of Japanese policemen who were escorting the tsesarevich. Tsuda Sanzō swung at the tsesarevich’s head with a saber. The first blow wounded the tsesarevich and then Sanzō swung again. However, the tsesarevich’s cousin – Prince George of Greece and Denmark – parried the second blow with his cane in time to stop the blow that could have killed the tsesarevich. The wound caused by the first blow left a nine-centimeter-long scar on the right side of tsesarevich’s head, but his wound was not fatal.

Prince George of Greece and Denmark, who saved the tsesarevich, was the son of George I of Greece and Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia. It is interesting that Prince George was also the uncle of the present husband of Queen Elizabeth II (Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh).

It is not entirely clear what prompted Tsuda Sanzō to attack the tsesarevich. In any case, the Emperor of Japan, Mutsuhito, made an effort to correct the insult brought upon the distinguished foreign guest. He personally visited the wounded tsesarevich. Indeed, despite the protests from his advisors, the Japanese Emperor came aboard the anchored Russian warship on which the tsesarevich was staying (his advisers feared that the Russians might capture the Emperor).

Tsesarevich Nicholas survived and inherited the Russian imperial throne three years later. Before the assassination attempt, his visit to Japan went well and warmly, and he allegedly even had a dragon tattooed on his right arm.

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