Nicholas II’s blood-stained shirt to be displayed in St. Petersburg


This article was researched from Russian media sources and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia, and Royal Russia News Administrator © 2018

The State Hermitage Museum will display the shirt worn by Tsesarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich (future Emperor Nicholas II) at the time of an assassination attempt in Japan in 1891, said the museum’s general director Mikhail Piotrovsky.

According to Piotrovsky, the blood-stained shirt of Nicholas II will be exhibited in the Great Church of the Winter Palace later this year.

The assassination attempt occurred on 11 May [O.S. 29 April] 1891, while Nicholas was returning to Kyoto after a day trip to Lake Biwa in Otsu. Tsuda Sanzo, one of his escort policemen swung at the Tsesarevich’s face with a saber. The quick action of Nicholas’s cousin, Prince George of Greece and Denmark, who parried the second blow with his cane, saved his life. Tsuda then attempted to flee, but two rickshaw drivers in Nicholas’s entourage chased him down and pulled him to the ground. Nicholas was left with a 9 centimetre long scar on the right side of his forehead, but his wound was not life-threatening.

The incident sparked a wave of remorse across Japan. Emperor Meiji publicly expressed sorrow at Japan’s lack of hospitality towards a state guest, which led to an outpouring of public support and messages of condolences for the Tsesarevich. The Japanese emperor even traveled by train to Kyoto where he met with the Tsesarevich. The Tsesarevich received gifts, and more than 20 thousand telegrams of condolences and apologies from Japanese citizens.

Tsuda Sandzo was sentenced to life imprisonment, but a few months after the decision was passed, he died in a prison on the island of Hokkaido.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 16 January, 2018