溥儀 Puyi -- The Last Emperor. Little Pu Yi, I have decided that you will be the new lord of ten thousand years You will be the Son of Heaven.
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Puyi -- The Last Emperor
Little Pu Yi,I have decided that you will be the new lord of ten thousand yearsYou will be the Son of Heaven.
The last emperor of China’s Manchu dynasty was a man named Pu Yi. He represented the last of a long line of Chinese emperors whose history stretched back many different dynasties and nearly 5000 years. The life of Pu Yi is interesting. When he was a young boy he was the absolute leader of hundreds of millions of Chinese, while as an old man he was a lowly gardener in the People’s Republic of China. What was it like to be fantastically rich and important as a boy, yet humble and poor as an old man? Only Pu Yi could tell us this. And, he did.
Puyi -- The Last Emperor
In 1964 his autobiography was published entitled From Emperor to Citizen: The Autobiography of Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi. The book is an interesting compendium of historical events providing an unusual view of the turbulent years of the last Chinese empire, the beginning of the Chinese Republic, the Japanese Occupation of China, and finally the Chinese Communist Revolution, which resulted in the establishment of the Peoples’ Republic of China.
Pu Yi was born in 1906 and became the emperor of China on December 10, 1908. The young child was installed as emperor by the Dowager Empress Tzu-hsi, a ruthless woman who was determined to control the throne to her dying day. The young Pu Yi was a reluctant emperor, and preferred to play as small boys do. In 1912, he was forced to abdicate his throne because of the Chinese Republican Revolution. Despite the fact that he was a virtual prisoner in the Forbidden City during this time, he nevertheless came in contact with certain foreigners who brought tales of wonders about the outside world to the young inquisitive boy living secluded behind the gates of the former palace.
The Forbidden City – Puyi’s Home and Prison
Pu Yi was thrilled with what was happening in the developed world and longed to take part in it. He decided to marry a young woman who shared his interest in the 20th century and who was willing to turn her back on the worn out traditions of imperial China. The woman’s name was Wang Yung and, like Pu Yi, she was also a descendant of the Manchu people. Together they hope to escape the Forbidden City and live in the modern world.
In 1924, Pu Yi is finally allowed to leave the Forbidden City when a Chinese warlord takes control of Beijing, which was then known in English as Peking. He became interested in Western music and dance while living in the Japanese controlled Tientsin . However, by 1930 his power was gone and he was forced by circumstances to escape to northern China which was called in the West, Manchuria. He increasingly was being used as a pawn in a power struggle between the aggressive Japanese and the disarrayed Chinese Republican government.
While in the northeast of China, Pu Yi began to have numerous extra-martial affairs, but nevertheless he failed to have any offspring.
The Japanese began to use Pu Yi for their nefarious devices, forcing him to make concession to Japan, despite the fact that he was no longer the Emperor of China. They tempted him by saying he could once again return to the throne, if only he would accept their demands. After the war, he was capture by the Russians and spent five years in a Russian prison.
He later returns to China, which is now under Communist control and he is again forced to spend time in a Chinese “re-education” prison. When he emerges in 1959 he tells the world how happy he is that China has now become a communist state. He becomes a gentle gardener and lives out the rest of his days in anonymity.
Pu Yi died in 1967. A movie called The Last Emperor was made based on his autobiography. The movie was a big success and many people became interested in the story of the little boy who was the last emperor.