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The Otsu Incident: Tsar Nicholas II’s Near-Assassination in Japan

The Otsu Incident: Tsar Nicholas II’s Near-Assassination in Japan

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Nicholas II
Picture: Olga Zelenkova / Shutterstock
In 1891 Japan, history was nearly changed when a Japanese policeman took aim at Russian Crown Prince Nicholas II - the future czar of Russia.

In the spring of 1891, a grand, princely procession wound its way down the streets of Otsu, near Kyoto. In spite of the proximity to the old imperial capital, this entourage was not in honor of some scion of the Fujiwara clan. The focus of this procession came from considerably more distant origins. Towards the center, borne comfortably atop a hand-pulled jinrikisha, sat Crown Prince Nicholas II of Russia.

Known as Nicolai in his own country, the young prince had just enjoyed a pleasant morning boating on Lake Biwa. His entourage was now turning back towards Kyoto. Soon, he would head to the capital city of Tokyo for his awaited meeting with Emperor Meiji. This was to be a momentous occasion. Few foreigners of the Crown Prince’s status had visited Japan since it ended its self-imposed isolation three decades earlier. Indeed, with the empires of Russia and Japan being sometimes-uneasy neighbors, this meeting could potentially carry major diplomatic implications. Nicholas would one day be the Tsar of all Russia; if Emperor Meiji could form a rapport with the young man, it could lead to great things for the nascent Japanese Empire.

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Alas, Nicholas would never reach Tokyo. As the procession navigated a narrow street, one of the Japanese policemen guarding the pathway caught sight of the Russian prince. In a sudden movement, the policeman unsheathed his saber. Before anyone knew what was happening, the man rushed forward. Blade in hand, he fell upon Crown Prince Nicholas with murderous intent.

The Otsu Incident: Tsar Nicholas II's Near-Assassination in Japan

In 1891 Japan, history was nearly changed when a Japanese policeman took aim at Russian Crown Prince Nicholas II - the future czar of Russia.Support Unseen J...

Two Emperors, Two Empires

The Otsu Incident occurred at a unique point in time in the joint history of the empires of Japan and Russia. The two countries had first come in contact during Japan’s long centuries of isolation under the Tokugawa regime. Both nations had been expanding; Japan northward, into the land of the indigenous Ainu peoples; Russia eastward in its mad dash to conquer all the lands between the Urals and the North Pacific. The two met in the late 18th century in the northern reaches of Sakhalin Island, where settlers from both lands staked competing territorial claims. (All of which, naturally, ignored those of the native inhabitants).

At the time, Japan remained an isolated feudal society ruled by the militaristic samurai class. As such, all Russian attempts to establish relations or trade with Japan had been rebuffed. Sporadic raids by overzealous Russian naval captains on Japanese outposts in Hokkaido had followed. While the Russian government disavowed such attacks, deep anxiety about a potential Russian invasion of Hokkaido proliferated throughout Japan. When the attacks ceased, such anxieties cooled down – but the potential threat neighboring Russia represented remained.

Much changed from the 1850s. Under pressure from Western nations who wished to impose trade agreements, the Tokugawa regime finally opened its doors to foreign commerce. Russia was one of the first in line, hammering out an unequal treaty granting Russians favorable trading rights. Soon Orthodox churches were going up in treaty ports across Japan.

Uneasy Rivals

In 1868, the Tokugawa Shogunate fell. In its place emerged a modernizing state centered around the emperor. Emporer Meiji’s new government quickly went about adapting Western systems and technologies. By 1889, two years before Nicholas’ visit, it had become the first parliamentary state in Asia. With improved education and a modern conscript army, Japan emerged as a player capable of exerting its influence on Asia; Western powers like Russia, however, still represented a more than credible threat.

Worse still, the two empires now found themselves competing over the same zones of interest. Both Emperor Meiji and Tsar Alexander III had their eyes on the Korean Penninsula; both saw the weakened Qing Chinese Empire as a source of rich spoils. Japan, however, was still some years off from the military victories that would imbue it with true confidence. The young regional power would need to try diplomacy to break free of the hated unequal treaties. Russia, for her part, was about to commence work on the immense Tran-Siberian Railroad. Originating in eastern Vladivostok, so close to Japan, its very existence would exert pressure on nearby countries. A firm relationship between both empires appeared imperative. It was in such an atmosphere that, in 1891, Crown Prince Nicholas II departed for Japan.

The Heir Apparent

A salty breeze was in the air as Nicholas II looked across the bay towards Nagasaki from atop a Russian man-of-war. It was the morning of April 27th, 1891; the Otsu Incident still lay two weeks in his future. Japan was just the last stop on a relaxed, multi-country journey to Vladivostock. Nicholas had set out some months before with his spindly brother George and a cousin of the same name, who himself was Prince of Greece and Denmark. His brother had taken ill while in India and had returned home to Russia, but Nicholas and Prince George had happily trudged onwards.

The two had spent the previous few months hunting exotic fauna, lackadaisically rambling round temples and ancient cities and enjoying local cuisines and cultures. Singapore, Sri Lanka, Java, Siam, China, and more had been their playgrounds. It had been a grand old time, and Nicholas was looking forward to more like it in Japan.

The whole adventure was the brainchild of Nicholas’ father, Tsar Alexander III. Nicholas was a young 22-year-old, and while the boy would likely have years left to go till his coronation, Alexander worried about his son’s temperament. Nicholas lacked the comportment of a ruler (And indeed, Russian Tsars still did rule. Unlike other European monarchs, the Tsar was still an absolute ruler.) While devoted to the Russian empire and his family, Nicholas was mild-mannered, almost to a fault. Alexander imagined this world tour might gift Nicholas with some much-needed life experience; it might even assist in his blossoming into a strong head of state.

Weighing Anchor

Tsar Alexander III, Nicholas II's father. (Picture: Wikipedia)

 

Tsar Alexander III, Nicholas II’s father. (Picture: Wikipedia)

Whether or not a personal transformation was underway is up for debate. However, Nicholas had been performing his duties admirably. And Japan, the last foreign country left in his journey, was one he expressed some interest in. In fact, Nicholas had been greatly enjoying a French novel set in Japan called “Madame Chrysantheme.” The story, which would eventually be reworked into the famed opera “Madame Butterfly,” was not exactly high literature. Its plot concerned a French officer purchasing a temporary “bride” in the port of Nagasaki — something the men of Nicholas’ navy often partook of in that same city. Not yet a married man, such ideas inflamed the young prince’s imagination.

Japan, for its part, was full of anticipation for the visit. Prefectural and government offices had planned extensive welcomes for the Crown Prince on every leg of his month-long stay; he was to be feted and exposed to the best of Japanese modernity. Emperor Meiji hoped a showing of how far Japan had advanced would convince the young prince that negotiation of the unequal treaties was in order.

A Surreptitious Start

In view of the Kyushu mainland, the six warships weighed anchor. It was holy week, and Nicholas was officially supposed to be fasting, waiting until the orthodox holiday ended to start his state visit. Surreptitiously, though, he went ashore; he wished to visit his troops stationed in Nagasaki. He employed a few of them to take him around; they rode rickshaws, bought souvenirs, and enjoyed the port city atmosphere. Nicholas was also introduced to the local matrons the young soldiers frequented. Reportedly, the Crown Price treated them with a great deal of magnanimity.

Thoroughly enjoying this false start, Nicholas thought to have his time in Japan memorialized. Inspired by his cousin George’s naval tattoos, as well as the novel he’d been perusing, Nicholas had two irezumi (刺青, Japanese tattoo) masters brought to him. By this time the Meiji government had already outlawed the traditional tattoo arts, which bore a stigma of criminality. Nicholas, however, cared little for this (if he even knew of the prohibitions). Like many fascinated foreign visitors before him, he flouted the laws, and returned to his ship a newly branded man. His forearm would bear a Japanese dragon for the rest of his life.

Making Landfall

On Easter Sunday, May 4th, Nicholas finally made his official entry into Japan. As the ship carrying him, Prince George, and their retinue alighted in the harbor, they were greeted by throngs of cheering Japanese onlookers. Government officials, townspeople, and schoolchildren stood assembled to welcome the eminent foreign guests.

Waiting at the front of the pier was Prince Arisugawa, noble relative to Meiji himself. Nicholas walked under a bamboo arch built especially for the occasion, and then the entourage sped off on jinrikisha towards the Nagasaki prefectural governor’s mansion. After a meal and some rest, they were borne about the city to many exciting tourist spots, such as Suwa Shrine, Nagasaki’s principal site of Shinto ritual.

In the House of the Samurai

The next evening, Nicholas and George headed south for Kagoshima Prefecture. Only 14 years previous, the prefecture — once the powerful Satsuma Domain — had been the starting point of a major, final samurai rebellion. Now, however, the Meiji government had forced Kagoshima into becoming part of the proper Japanese national polity. Despite this, Nicholas was bound for the home of one Shimazu Tadayoshi — the former daimyo (feudal ruler) of Satsuma. The Shimazu family had once been counted amongst the most powerful samurai in Japan; even now, Shimazu Tadayoshi was playing host to an important foreign royal.

Tadayoshi’s father, Hisamitsu, had been the true power behind Satsuma. He had died four years previously. Hisamitsu had played a major role in restoring the imperial house to political control over Japan. However, he had also been highly critical of the new regime and erosion of the samurai class it had carried out. Still, when his famed vassal, Saigo Takamori, carried out the Satsuma Rebellion and threatened to bring down the Meiji government, Hisamitsu had refused to take sides. Now his son was entertaining the future Tsar of Russia.

Tadayoshi did more than merely host, though. He had heard that Nicholas was interested in the legendary warriors of Japan. A former samurai lord himself, Tadayoshi arranged for over a hundred former samurai to parade in front of the Crown Prince in full armor. Then, reportedly, the lord of Satsuma took to a horse and demonstrated the art of yabusame: horseback archery. For a moment, the old world reappeared in Satsuma.

The Veteran

Tsuda Sanzo (津田三蔵) considered himself a man of duty. Born into a samurai family in service to the Todo Clan in the waning years of samurai power, he had grown up in a troubled environment. His father, Choan, had perpetrated a violent crime, and was subject to house arrest from the time Tsuda was eight. In 1870, Tsuda left to find his place in the world. He joined the newly-minted Meiji army, living in garrisons in Tokyo and Nagoya. From 1873, he served under Lieutenant Commander Nogi Maresuke, widely considered a paragon of self-sacrificial militant virtue.

Then came 1877. Saigo Takamori’s rebellion lit Kyushu aflame and threatened the Meiji Government. Tsuda, now a corporal in an as-of-yet untested conscript army, was sent with his unit to Kyushu to help put down the samurai revolt. Tsuda found himself in a brigade commanded by Viscount Takashima Tomonosuke. They made landfall on the coast of Yatsushiro, and began fighting inland in an attempt to help break Saigo’s siege of Kumamoto Castle. Six days into his war, Tsuda was shot through the hand; within two weeks, however, he returned to the fray. Tsuda fought the rebellious samurai in numerous battles in Kagoshima and Miyazaki. By war’s end, he was promoted to lieutenant.

Tsuda Sanzo, Proud Police Officer

Tsuda Sanzou

 

Tsuda Sanzou. (Picture: Wikipedia)

Tsuda had become something of a war hero. Although the exhaustion of battle left him with recurrent illnesses, the Meiji government decorated Tsuda for his service. When he left the army four years later, it was as an honored veteran. Tsuda quickly found work in the police force of Mie Prefecture. In 1885, three years of service later, Tsuda suddenly found himself expelled from the force. At an informal gathering, something a fellow police officer said had set him off; like his father before him, Tsuda responded with violence. The assault on a co-worker caused Tsuda to flee to Shiga Prefecture. There, he again found work in a prefectural police force. Serving by the waters of large Lake Biwa (whose surface makes up a significant portion of the prefecture), Tsuda again absorbed himself in his duties. Soon, he had received two further awards for good work.

A man who had fought for and been awarded by his sovereign, Tsuda was deeply patriotic. To him, Emperor Meiji was essentially a god; he, like many of his time, believed the way foreign countries abused Japan to be despicable. The yoke of the unequal treaties enraged him. When Tsuda was young, pro-imperialist samurai had attacked foreign legations, and emperor Meiji’s father, Komei, had even made an (unenforceable) decree casting all non-Japanese out of the country. Some in Japan wished to return to such an era, casting out suspicious foreign nationals. Russia, who still had territorial disputes with Japan to the north, seemed most suspicious of all.

Rumors of a Rebel Returned

It was with such a mindset that Tsuda viewed the news of Nicholas’s arrival. Rumors circulated that Nicholas was entering Japan to spy on its military defenses. Worse yet was one especially hateful rumor: that Nicholas was coming to Japan to return the rebel Saigo Takamori to its shores. Saigo had died heroically in the last battle of the Satsuma Rebellion, yet such was his legend that survival myths persisted. Saigo, it was said, had slipped away to the vastness of Russia. There, he bid his time, waiting Arthur-like to return and set his country right.

Tsuda had fought heated battles against Saigo’s forces, had watched thousands die on bloody battlefields, had even suffered injury and illness. If Saigo Takamori was indeed returning with the hated Russians and succeeded in overthrowing the government, all of Tsuda’s sacrifices would have been for not. And wasn’t there evidence that something was afoot? Nicholas had eschewed starting his state visit with meeting with the emperor in Tokyo and had instead made a near beeline to the house of Saigo Takamori’s former lord. What other than military aspirations in Japan could explain this inexplicable insult to the emperor’s honor?

Then, Tsuda suddenly learned he was being assigned to protect the route the Crown Prince would take in Shiga Prefecture. Surely, fate had shown its hand. Tsuda Sanzo promised he would not let the Crown Prince of Russia continue to insult Japan.

The Road to Otsu

On May 9th, Nicholas and his followers left Kyushu behind. Crossing the straights of Shimonoseki, they found themselves on Honshu, Japan’s largest landmass. There, more adventure and hospitality waited for them: touring the Nunobiki Waterfalls and strolls through Suwayama Park near Kobe.

Finally, Nicholas reached Kyoto, accompanied by cheers of “Kotaishi Denka, Banzai!” (皇太子殿下万歳! May the honored crown prince live 10,000 years!) At his hotel in the old imperial capital, Nicholas refused a prepared western apartment, choosing to sleep as the people of the country slept.

On May 11th, after some days of touristic activities in Kyoto, Nicholas, George, and their retinue headed to Shiga Prefecture by train. The goal of this outing was to see Lake Biwa, and Shiga governer Oki Morikata was waiting at the train station to escort them. The lake proved pleasant, and some hours later Nicholas again clambered into a jinrikisha. The rickshaw driver lifted up the handles, and together with two men pushing from behind, they rushed off towards the prefectural capital of Otsu.

Tsuda Sanzo could hear them approaching.

The Attack

Tsuda stood to the right of Shimo-Koharasaki Street alongside other constables, all watching over the road to prevent any miscreants from nearing the oncoming procession. From down the road, the cacophony of fifty rickshaws was unmistakable. Then they appeared: at the front road was Governor Oki, surrounded by various of Tsuda’s fellow policemen. Behind them were several other officials, both Russian and Japanese. But there, near the front, was a young man who was unmistakable of royal lineage. The object of Tsuda’s righteous rage had come into view.

Tsuda tensed, his hand going subtly for his police-issued saber. Then, as the unknowing prince’s jinriksha passed him by, Tsuda made his move. Out came his blade, glinting in the sun.

Tsuda lunged forward, reaching the royal’s conveyance, and slashed out at the young man’s head. Nicholas, perhaps seeing the sudden movement, ducked slightly; still, the blow struck true, slicing throw Nicholas’s cap and cutting a gash in his forehead. The blade did not penetrate bone, however. Damned sabers — if only it had been his katana, one blow might have been enough!

The jinrikisha driver lowered the bars in a panic, jumping back. Screams rang out. Tsuda’s sword swung out for the killing blow — but there was Prince George, who had run up to defend his cousin. He parried the blow with a bamboo cane he’d bought near Biwa, and Nicholas used the moment to flee. Tsuda gave chase, but no sooner had he stepped forward than he hurtled to earth. The jinrikisha driver had tackled him. Tsuda’s saber clattered to the ground, and another of Nicolas’ drivers lunged for it. As Tsuda tried to stand, he was struck twice by his own blade. Both drivers pummeled Tsuda while he lay prone, and George joined in with his cane.

Bloodied but Alive

The assassination attempt on Crown Prince Nicholas II had been foiled.

Nicholas was shaken and bloodied — but alive. Governor Oki rushed him to a nearby shop, where Nicholas received medical care for the two gashes to his forehead. Soon, the badly beaten Tsuda was in custody and Nicholas felt well enough to head back to Kyoto. On the train, he was of high enough spirits to make some jokes about the day’s events.

News of the attack rippled through Japan at high speeds, aided by newfound technology and media; newspapers gave conflicting reports. Word spread that the Crown Prince was in deathly shape; when he emerged at Kyoto Station with a bloody bandage on his head but walking under his power, the crowds gave a sigh of relief. The idea that Russia might retaliate with war had already started spreading.

It was not only amongst the people that such anxieties lay. At an emergency meeting of Tokyo higher-ups held that day, Minister of State Saigo Tsugumichi (himself younger brother of the legendary rebel) wondered aloud if it would come to war. Emperor Meiji, aghast, hastened to make sure this would not come to be. He dispatched Imperial physicians to aid the Crown Prince’s recovery and sent conciliatory missives to the Tsar and Tsarina in Petersburg. He then sent forth Saigo Tsugumichi and other important ministers to Kyoto as well, hoping to ensure Nicholas of their goodwill.

The people and institutions of Japan did their part as well; the Tokyo Rice Stock Exchange, kabuki theaters, numerous temples, and more shut down out of respect for the Crown Prince’s suffering. Across the country, Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples rang out with prayers for the monarch-to-be’s speedy recovery. Soon, twenty thousand letters and telegrams from well-wishers were on their way to Nicholas’ hotel.

Crises Averted

Emperor Meiji. (Picture: Wikipedia)

 

Emperor Meiji. (Picture: Wikipedia)

The very next morning, May 12th, Emperor Meiji himself departed for Kyoto. In former years, the idea that the godlike emperor himself would rush out to attend to a foreigner would have been unthinkable. Meiji, however, was a modern monarch for a modern nation. He actively engaged in the work needed to secure his country’s future.

The Russian ambassador was waiting for Emperor Meiji at Kyoto Station. Meiji, by this point in his life a somewhat imposing figure with a fearsome beard, appeared agitated. He wished to be immediately conveyed to the Crown Prince. The ambassador demurred; the prince, he explained, must be allowed another day of rest.

On May 13th, the sovereign of the Empire of Japan and the future Tsar of All Russia finally met. It was not the festive reception Meiji had hoped to give Nicholas in Tokyo. Still, the meeting was amicable, and Nicholas insisted he felt no will towards Japan over the actions of a single fanatic. Meiji voiced his hope that Nicholas would continue his trip and join him in Tokyo (as his ministers believed this would save Japan a great deal of face over the incident). Nicholas replied that he would have to wait for orders from Petersburg.

Back in Russia, the Tsar and Tsarina fretted over the health of their son. Telegrams noting his safety helped calm them, but Alexander III decided to order his son to return to his squadron and head towards Vladivostok early. When word reached the prince, he did as he was told. Meiji himself accompanied Nicholas back to Kobe, where the warships waited to bear the prince away. The Crown Prince assured the Emperor that he held no ill will towards Japan; in fact, he had “nothing but admiration” for the wonderful welcome he had received while in-country.

The Fate of an Assasin

As the six Russian warships departed Kobe to great fanfare, Meiji and his statesmen turned to the next phase of disaster reduction: deciding on how best to deal with the assassin who had caused all this.

Japanese public sentiment was decidedly against Tsuda, despite his beliefs in the righteousness of his motives. Saigo Takamori had failed to reappear — it was clear that such survival tales had been mere myths. (In Russia itself, however, myths swirled about Tsuda himself. Some suggested that he was a Russian nihilist in disguise or an escaped convict from the prisons of Sakhalin.) Newspapers around Japan condemned Tsuda in the harshest terms.

The miscreant who inflicted a wound on the person of the illustrious guest whom our whole nation was eager to honor, would not be punished sufficiently though his body were cut into a hundred pieces.

Toyo Shinpo Newspaper on the Otsu Incident, taken from “The Attempt on the Life of Nicholas II in Japan” by George Alexander Lensen.

The Meiji statesmen decided that Tsuda Sanzo must be put to death. However, the nation’s new constitution provided for a separate judiciary. No longer could the executive branch simply order a criminal to death. Moreover, the laws did not seem to provide for the death penalty in such a case. It was floated that the assassin himself be assassinated. Finally, the executive declared it would punish Tsuda with execution. Amazingly, the judiciary struck this order down.

Tsuda’s fate became an important benchmark for judicial freedom in Meiji Japan. However, it also served as a forerunner for the leniency Japan would show to murderers and assassins in the coming decades provided the assailant claimed “defense of the emperor” as their motive. Such politically motivated murders would become the scourge of Japanese society well into the future.

A Lonely Death in Hokkaido

Tsuda Sanzo held firm to his convictions till the end. In court, he defended his actions, speaking of past Russian aggression, the situation in Sakhalin, and slights against the emperor. In the end, the sentence sent down was life imprisonment and hard labor on the Hokkaido frontier.

Dragged away in chains, Tsuda would not have to endure such hardships for long. Within months of arriving in Hokkaido, he was struck down by illness. Rumors claim he had starved himself to death; others have speculated that someone took it upon themselves to finish Tsuda off. Upon his death, Tsuda was so reviled that a town in Yamagata banned the names “Tsuda” and “Sanzo.”

The hero of the affair proved to be Prince George, but the two rickshaw drivers were not forgotten by those of privilege. They too became folk heroes. The Meiji government decorated them and awarded them an annual pension of 36 yen. Nicholas felt even more magnanimous. He gifted both men a 2,500 yen award, and his father Alexander added a 1000 yen annual pension to this. These were incredibly generous sums at the time and both men were able to live in luxury. Later years were not so kind to the men, however. In 1905, when war caused Russophobia to hit a peak, both men were suspected of somehow being spies. They had their pensions revoked and were targets of abuse from both the public and police.

The final, grisly drama of the Otsu Incident played out on May 20th. A young seamstress named Hatakeyama Yuko was incensed by the shame brought on her nation by Tsuda. Unable to bear such feelings, she wrote letters of apology to Nicholas and the Russian ambassador. Then, standing in front of the Kyoto Government Building, she slit her own throat in protest.

Reopened Scars

Nicholas II left Japan with two marks that would remain with him his entire life. On his forearm crouched a triumphant dragon tattoo; on his the right side of his forehead, a nine-centimeter long scar. For years his political opponents would place sarcastic blame for his failings on this head trauma. In reality, he did complain of headaches for many years.

Nicholas had been the perfect gentleman and had responded to the attempt on his life in his mild-mannered way. Indeed, crisis had been averted by this attitude, and he and Meiji parted amicably. Despite this, Nicholas would speak disparagingly of the Japanese later in life, comparing them to apes. Japan’s continued upwards trajectory soon brought the two empires head-to-head. First, Russia would interfere to squander Japan’s territorial gains in the First Sino-Japanese War (1895). Then, as the two fought over precedence in Korea and Manchuria, full-on war broke out. Emperor Meiji and Tsar Nicholas II now stood at the heads of opposing militaries.

27 Years Granted by a Bamboo Cane

The Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 delt Nicholas a humbling, horrifically shameful defeat. Never before had a “yellow” power defeated a modern European empire. The destruction of the Baltic Fleet and terrible loss of life increased simmering hatred towards the incompetence of the outmoded Romanov Dynasty. In 1905, a large scale revolution broke out in response to these feelings. Nicholas put it down with great violence. But 12 years later, in the midst of WWI, the Russian Revolution swept the Romanovs from power. Sometime later, Nicholas II, last Tsar of Russia, met his fate along with his family in a hail of bullets.

Nicholas’ body was discovered near a lonely road in 1979. When exhumed, it could not be certain the body was his – and a bloody cloth from the Otsu Incident was brought to Russia to aid in DNA analysis.

The Otsu Incident is but one bump on the road of Russo-Japanese history. Still, when one thinks of what future was averted by a bamboo cane, or what lingering effects it had on the perception of one of the world’s mightiest rulers — here the potential of one nine-centimeter scar looms large.

Sources:

Lensen, G. (1961). The Attempt on the Life of Nicholas II in Japan. The Russian Review,20(3), 232-253.

Yong-shik, S. (1989). The Otsu incident: Japan’s hidden history of the attempted assassination of future Emperor Nicholas II of Russia in the town of Otsu, Japan, May 11, 1891 and its implication for historical analysis. University of Pennsylvania.

Figes, O. (2017). A people’s tragedy: the Russian revolution 1891-1924. London: The Bodley Head.

Ravina, M. (2010). The Apocryphal Suicide of Saigō Takamori: Samurai, “Seppuku”, and the Politics of Legend. The Journal of Asian Studies,69(3), 691-721.

大津事件 – フリー百科事典『ウィキペディア』. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/大津事件

津田三蔵 –フリー百科事典『ウィキペディア』. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/津田三蔵

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Noah Oskow

Serving as current UJ Editor-in-Chief, Noah Oskow is a professional Japanese translator and interpreter who holds a BA in East Asian Languages and Cultures. He has lived, studied, and worked in Japan for nearly seven years, including two years studying at Sophia University in Tokyo and four years teaching English on the JET Program in rural Fukushima Prefecture. His experiences with language learning and historical and cultural studies as well as his extensive experience in world travel have led to appearances at speaking events, popular podcasts, and in the mass media. Noah most recently completed his Master's Degree in Global Studies at the University of Vienna in Austria.

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