Japanese policeman

"Japanese policeman!" - an expression meaning surprise appeared in Russia at the end of the 19th century. Moreover, in many respects thanks to the heir to the Russian throne Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov, the future Emperor Nicholas II.

In April 1891, the 23-year-old heir to the throne, who was traveling around the world, visited Japan. The cheerful company accompanying Nikolai on the trip did not always take into account the traditions of the Eastern countries, annoying the locals with their free behavior. While visiting the Japanese town of Otsu, a policeman named Sanzo Tsuda, outraged by the behavior of young Europeans, rushed at Nikolai with a saber.

Fortunately, the first blow fell on a tangent, besides the heir was saved by the hat, which softened the force of the sharp blade. The Greek prince Constantine, who traveled with Nicholas, saved the Tsarevich from the second blow. Konstantin managed to substitute his cane.

The policeman was immediately arrested, and the wounded heir was taken to the nearest city of Kyoto to the home of the local governor. The next morning, the Japanese emperor arrived at Nicholas with apologies and gifts. In an effort to hush up the unpleasant incident, the ruler of Japan awarded the Russian heir the Order of the Chrysanthemum and presented a luxurious handmade carpet.

Nikolai Alexandrovich was assured that the culprit would stand trial and be severely punished. By the way, during the trial, Sanzo Tsuda asked the judges for permission to do hara-kiri, which he was denied. He was sent to a prison on the island of Hokkaido, where he died a few months later. According to the official version, from pneumonia ..

The assassination attempt caused a huge resonance in the world, especially since immediately after the assassination there was a rumor that the Russian heir was seriously wounded and would hardly live until morning. Russian Emperor Alexander III ordered his son to urgently return to his homeland.

Since then, the expression "Japanese policeman" has gone for a walk around Russia. Nikolay brought a shirt with traces of blood to Russia. He kept it until the revolution, then the shirt was transferred to the Ethnographic Museum, and in 1941 - to the Hermitage. Already at the beginning of our millennium, blood from a shirt was used for DNA examination, in order to establish whether the remains found in the Urals belonged to Emperor Nicholas II.

The famous Russian writer and journalist Vladimir Gilyarovsky dedicated a small poem even to this event:

Tsarevich Nikolay,

If you have to reign,

Never Forget,

The police are fighting.