Thursday, 3 October 2013

Two Japanese peace delegates in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1905

The defeat in the 1904 - 1905 Russo-Japanese War was a major blow to Imperial Russia. Tsar Nicholas II chose a negotiated peace, brokered by American President Theodore Roosevelt (which earned him the Nobel Peace Prize). The Treaty of Portsmouth was signed on 5  September 1905 at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, New Hampshire.

The Japanese delegation at Portsmouth was led by Foreign Minister, Baron (later Marquis) Komura Jutarō - a Harvard graduate -, assisted by another Japanese nobleman, Baron Takahira.

The Japanese peace delegates, Baron Komura (on the right) and Baron
Takahira on board President Roosevelt's yacht Mayflower. Komura is said
to have inherited massive debts from his father, which he had difficulties with
repayment. As a result, he wore the same frayed coat for years, regardless of season
or occasion. Whether the coat on this photo is the frayed one, is difficult to tell.

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