NOTE: All of the articles pertaining to Nicholas II and his family which were originally published in my Royal Russia News blog, have been moved to this Nicholas II blog. This article was originally posted on 23 June 2018 in my Royal Russia News blog – PG
On 23rd June 2018, Japanese *Princess Hisako Takamado visited the Church on the Blood and the Tsarsky Spiritual and Educational Center during her official visit to Ekaterinburg. She is the first member of Japan’s Imperial family to visit Russia since 1916, the Kyodo news agency reported.
Her Highness was given a tour of the church, where she was told the story of the Imperial family’s last days in the city in 1918. Princess Hisako was shown the renewed Imperial Room in the Lower Church – altar chapel in honour of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers, built on the site of the room where Emperor Nicholas II and his family were all murdered on the night of 16/17 July 1918. Special attention was drawn to the unique mosaic panel in the central part of the altar, depicting the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers and their faithful retainers who suffered with them: Emperor Nikolai Alexandrovich, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Tsesarevich Alexei, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatyana, Maria, Anastasia, Saint Eugene Botkin, Alexei Trupp, Ivan Kharitonov, and Anna Demidova. The altar is adorned to the memorable date of the century of the feat of the Royal Family with the blessing of Metropolitan Kirill of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye.
After viewing the exhibition dedicated to the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers and the Alapaevsk martyrs – Saint Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna and the nun Varvara, Her Highness visited the upper church in the name of All Saints in the Russian Land. Here Princess Hisako, delighted with decoration of the cathedral, took up her camera, taking pictures of the vault and frescoes, on which the scenes of the life of the Passion-Bearer Tsar and his family are depicted.
Her Highness and her entourage then visited the Patriarchal Compound on the opposite side of the courtyard. Here, she visited the Tsarsky Spiritual and Educational Center, the Museum of the Holy Royal Martyrs, the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, the exhibition of the Ural artists Alexei Efremov and Alexander Remezov. Her Highness also took great interest in the legendary grand piano of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, which she took with her when the Imperial family had gone into exile.
At the end of the visit, Her Highness signed the Visitors’ Book, thanking her hosts for the inspirational journey through Russian history and noting the great importance of the preservation of the heritage of churches in the Urals.
Upon leaving the Patriarchal Compound, the Japanese princess thanked the representatives of the Ekaterinburg Diocese for their warm welcome, and speaking in Russian with special cordiality, she said: “This is a special place.”
Princess Hisako Takamado of Japan arrived in the Ural capital on 22nd June. During her stay, she plans to attend a FIFA match between Japan and Senegal, which will be held on 24th June.
*Born on 10 July 1953, Princess Hisako Takamado is a member of the Japanese Imperial Family as the widow of Norihito, Prince Takamado (1954-2002). Prince Takamado was the third son of Takahito, Prince Mikasa and Yuriko, Princess Mikasa. He was a first cousin of Emperor Akihito, and was seventh in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne.
© Paul Gilbert. 8 December 2019
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