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Xuantong Emperor
Pu Yi, Qing dynasty, China, Last emperor.jpg
Puyi c. 1930–40s
Emperor of the Qing dynasty
First reign 2 December 1908 – 12 February 1912
Predecessor Guangxu Emperor
Successor monarchy abolished; Yuan Shikai as president
Regents Zaifeng, Prince Chun (1908–11)
Empress Dowager Longyu (1911–12)
Prime Ministers
Second reign 1 July 1917 – 12 July 1917
Prime minister Zhang Xun
Emperor of Manchukuo
Reign 1 March 1934 – 17 August 1945
Predecessor Himself as Chief Executive of Manchukuo
Successor Position abolished (Manchukuo dissolved)
Prime Minister
  • Zheng Xiaoxu
  • Zhang Jinghui
Chief Executive of Manchukuo
Reign 18 February 1932 – 28 February 1934
Predecessor Manchukuo and position established
Successor Himself as emperor
Prime Minister Zheng Xiaoxu
Born Aisin-Gioro Puyi
(1906-02-07)February 7, 1906
Prince Chun Mansion, Beijing, Qing China
Died October 17, 1967(1967-10-17) (aged 61)
Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, People's Republic of China
Burial Hualong Imperial Cemetery, Yi County, Hebei
  • (m. 1922; died 1946)
  • Wenxiu
    (m. 1922; div. 1931)
  • Tan Yuling
    (m. 1937; died 1942)
  • Li Yuqin
    (m. 1943; div. 1957)
  • Li Shuxian
    (m. 1962)
Full name
  • Aisin-Gioro Puyi
    (愛新覺羅 溥儀)
  • Manchu: Aisin-Gioro Pu I
Era dates
Qing Empire
  • Xuantong
    (宣統; 22 January 1909 – 12 February 1912, 1 July 1917 – 12 July 1917)
  • Manchu: Gehungge Yoso
  • Mongolian: Хэвт ёс


  • Datong
    (大同; 1 March 1932 – 28 February, 1934)
  • Kangde
    (康德; 1 March 1934 – 17 August 1945)
House Aisin Gioro
Dynasty Qing (1908–1912, 1917)
Manchukuo (1932–1945)
Father Zaifeng, Prince Chun of the First Rank
Mother Gūwalgiya Youlan
Seal Xuantong Emperor 宣統's signature
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese 溥仪
Xuantong Emperor
Traditional Chinese 宣統
Simplified Chinese 宣统帝

Aisin-Gioro Puyi (Chinese: ; 7 February 1906 – 17 October 1967), courtesy name Yaozhi (曜之), was the last emperor of China as the eleventh and final Qing dynasty monarch.


Early years

Puyi became emperor at the age of two in 1908. Growing up with scarcely any memory of a time when he was not indulged and revered, Puyi quickly became spoiled. The adults in his life, except for Wang, were all strangers, remote, distant, and unable to discipline him. Wherever he went, grown men would kneel down in a ritual kowtow, averting their eyes until he passed. Soon he discovered the absolute power he wielded over the eunuchs, and he frequently had them beaten for small transgressions. As an emperor, Puyi's every whim was catered to while no one ever said no to him.

Puyi later said, "My cruelty and love of wielding power were already too firmly set for persuasion to have any effect on me."

Puyi had a standard Confucian education, being taught the various Chinese classics and nothing else. He later wrote: "I learnt nothing of mathematics, let alone science, and for a long time I had no idea where Peking was situated". When Puyi was 13, he met his parents and siblings, all of whom had to kowtow before him as he sat upon the Dragon Throne. By this time, he had forgotten what his mother looked like. Such was the awe in which the emperor was held that his younger brother Pujie never heard his parents refer to Puyi as "your elder brother" but only as the emperor. Pujie told Behr his image of Puyi prior to meeting him was that of "a venerable old man with a beard. I couldn't believe it when I saw this boy in yellow robes sitting solemnly on the throne". Although Puyi could see his family, this happened rarely, and always under the stifling rules of imperial etiquette. The consequence was that the relationship of the emperor with his parents was distant and he found himself more attached to his nurse, Miss Wang (who had accompanied him to the Forbidden City). Separated from his family, Puyi lived his childhood in a regime of virtual seclusion in the Forbidden City, surrounded by guards, eunuchs and other servants who treated him like a divinity. The emperor's upbringing was a mixture of pampering and mistreatment, as the little one had to follow all the rules of rigid Chinese imperial protocol and was unable to behave like a normal child.

The eunuchs were virtual slaves who did all the work in the Forbidden City, such as cooking, gardening, cleaning, entertaining guests, and the bureaucratic work needed to govern a vast empire. They also served as the emperor's advisers. The Forbidden City was full of treasures that the eunuchs constantly stole and sold on the black market. The business of government and of providing for the emperor created further opportunities for corruption, in which virtually all the eunuchs engaged.

Puyi never had any privacy and had all his needs attended to at all times, having eunuchs open doors for him, dress him, wash him, and even blow air into his soup to cool it. At his meals, Puyi was always presented with a huge buffet containing every conceivable dish, the vast majority of which he did not eat, and every day he wore new clothing, as Chinese emperors never reused their clothing.


On 10 October, 1911, the army garrison in Wuhan mutinied, sparking a widespread revolt in the Yangtze river valley and beyond, demanding the overthrow of the Qing dynasty that had ruled China since 1644. The strongman of late imperial China, General Yuan Shikai, was dispatched by the court to crush the revolution, but was unable to, as by 1911 public opinion had turned decisively against the Qing, and many Chinese had no wish to fight for a dynasty that was seen as having lost the Mandate of Heaven. Puyi's father, Prince Chun, served as a regent until 6 December, when Empress Dowager Longyu took over following the Xinhai Revolution.

Empress Dowager Longyu endorsed the "Imperial Edict of the Abdication of the Qing Emperor" (清帝退位詔書) on 12 February, 1912 under a deal brokered by Yuan, now Prime Minister, with the imperial court in Peking and the Republicans in southern China.

Under the "Articles of Favourable Treatment of the Great Qing Emperor after His Abdication" (清帝退位優待條件), signed with the new Republic of China, Puyi was to retain his imperial title and be treated by the government of the Republic with the protocol attached to a foreign monarch. Puyi and the imperial court were allowed to remain in the northern half of the Forbidden City (the Private Apartments) as well as in the Summer Palace. A hefty annual subsidy of four million silver taels was granted by the Republic to the imperial household, although it was never fully paid and was abolished after just a few years. Puyi himself was not informed in February 1912 that his reign had ended and China was now a republic, and continued to believe that he was still emperor for some time. In 1913, when the Empress Dowager Longyu died, President Yüan arrived at the Forbidden City to pay his respects, which Puyi's tutors told him meant that major changes were afoot.

Puyi soon learned that the real reasons for the Articles of Favourable Settlement was that President Yuan was planning on restoring the monarchy with himself as the emperor of a new dynasty, and wanted to have Puyi as a sort of custodian of the Forbidden City until he could move in.

Brief restoration

In 1917, the warlord Zhang Xun restored Puyi to the throne from 1 July to 12 July. Zhang Xun ordered his army to keep their queues to display loyalty to the emperor. However, then-Premier of the Republic of China Duan Qirui ordered a Caudron Type D plane, piloted by Pan Shizhong (潘世忠) with bombardier Du Yuyuan (杜裕源) from Nanyuan airfield, to drop three bombs over the Forbidden City as a show of force against Zhang Xun, causing the death of a eunuch, but otherwise inflicting minor damage. This is the first aerial bombardment recorded by a Chinese Air Force, and the restoration failed due to extensive opposition across China.

Tianjin (1925–1931)

In February 1925, Puyi moved to the Japanese Concession of Tianjin, first into the Chang Garden (張園), and in 1929 into the former residence of Lu Zongyu known as the Garden of Serenity (traditional Chinese: 靜園; simplified Chinese: 静园; pinyin: jìng yuán).

During this period, Puyi and his advisers Chen Baochen, Zheng Xiaoxu, and Luo Zhenyu discussed plans to restore Puyi as Emperor. Zheng and Luo favoured enlisting assistance from external parties, while Chen opposed the idea. In June 1925, the warlord Zhang Zuolin visited Tianjin to meet Puyi. "Old Marshal" Zhang, an illiterate former bandit, ruled Manchuria, a region equal in size to Germany and France combined, which had a population of 30 million and was the most industrialised region in China. Zhang kowtowed to Puyi at their meeting and promised to restore the House of Qing if Puyi made a large financial donation to his army. Zhang warned Puyi in a "roundabout way" not to trust his Japanese friends. Zhang fought in the pay of the Japanese, but by this time his relations with the Kwantung Army were becoming strained. In June 1927, Zhang captured Peking and Behr.


In September 1931, Puyi sent a letter to Jirō Minami, the Japanese Minister of War, expressing his desire to be restored to the throne. On the night of 18 September 1931, the Mukden Incident began when the Japanese Kwantung Army blew up a section of railroad belonging to the Japanese-owned South Manchurian Railroad company and blamed the warlord Marshal Zhang Xueliang. On this pretext the Kwantung Army began a general offensive with the aim of conquering all of Manchuria. Puyi was visited by Kenji Doihara, head of the espionage office of the Japanese Kwantung Army, who proposed establishing Puyi as head of a Manchurian state. The Japanese further bribed a cafe worker to tell Puyi that a contract was out on his life in an attempt to frighten Puyi into moving.

The Empress Wanrong was firmly against Puyi's plans to go to Manchuria, which she called treason, and for a moment Puyi hesitated. In the Tientsin Incident during November 1931, Puyi and Zheng Xiaoxu traveled to Manchuria to complete plans for the puppet state of Manchukuo. Puyi left his house in Tianjin by hiding in the trunk of a car. The Chinese government ordered his arrest for treason, but was unable to breach the Japanese protection. Puyi boarded a Japanese ship that took him across Bohai Sea, and when he landed in Port Arthur (modern Lüshun), he was greeted by the man who was to become his minder, General Masahiko Amakasu, who took them to a resort owned by the South Manchurian Railroad company.

Once he arrived in Manchuria, Puyi discovered that he was a prisoner and was not allowed outside the Yamato Hotel. Wanrong had stayed in Tianjin, and remained opposed to Puyi's decision to work with the Japanese, requiring her friend Eastern Jewel to visit numerous times to convince her to go to Manchuria. Behr commented that if Wanrong had been a stronger woman, she might have remained in Tianjin and filed for divorce, but ultimately she accepted Eastern Jewel's argument that it was her duty as a wife to follow her husband, and six weeks after the Tientsin incident, she too crossed the East China Sea to Port Arthur with Eastern Jewel to keep her company.

Puppet ruler of Manchukuo (1932–1945)

In 1934, he was declared emperor of Manchukuo with the era name "Kangde" (K'ang-te, 康德). This third stint as emperor saw him as a puppet of Japan; his life consisted mostly of signing laws prepared by Japan, reciting prayers, consulting oracles, and making formal visits throughout his state. During this period, he largely resided in the Salt Tax Palace. Puyi was extremely unhappy with his life as a virtual prisoner in the Salt Tax Palace, and his moods became erratic, swinging from hours of passivity staring into space.

In May 1938, Puyi was declared a god by the Religions Law, and a cult of emperor-worship very similar to Japan's began with schoolchildren starting their classes by praying to a portrait of the god-emperor while imperial rescripts and the imperial regalia became sacred relics imbued with magical powers by being associated with the god-emperor. Puyi's elevation to a god was due to the Sino-Japanese war, which caused the Japanese state to begin a program of totalitarian mobilization of society for total war in Japan and places ruled by Japan. His Japanese handlers felt that ordinary people in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan were more willing to bear the sacrifices for total war because of their devotion to their god-emperor, and it was decided that making Puyi a god-emperor would have the same effect in Manchukuo. After 1938, Puyi was hardly ever allowed to leave the Salt Tax Palace, while the creation of the puppet regime of President Wang Jingwei in November 1938 crushed Puyi's spirits, as it ended his hope of one day being restored as the Great Qing Emperor.

With the fall of Japan (and thus Manchukuo) in 1945, Puyi fled the capital and was eventually captured by the Soviets; he was extradited to the People's Republic of China in 1950.

Later life

Soviet Union Military Officer and Puyi
Puyi (right) and a Soviet military officer

The Soviets took Puyi to the Siberian town of Chita. He lived in a sanatorium, then later in Khabarovsk near the Chinese border, where he was treated well and allowed to keep some of his servants. He knew about the civil war in China from Chinese-language broadcasts on Soviet radio but seemed not to care. The Soviet government refused the Republic of China's repeated requests to extradite Puyi; the Kuomintang government had indicted him on charges of high treason, and the Soviet refusal to extradite him almost certainly saved his life, as Chiang Kai-shek had often spoken of his desire to have Puyi shot. The Kuomintang captured Puyi's cousin Eastern Jewel and publicly executed her in Peking in 1948 after she was convicted of high treason. Not wishing to return to China, Puyi wrote to Joseph Stalin several times asking for asylum in the Soviet Union, and that he be given one of the former tsarist palaces to live out his days.

Puyi's letters to Joseph Stalin

When the Chinese Communist Party under Mao Zedong came to power in 1949, Puyi was repatriated to China after negotiations between the Soviet Union and China. Puyi was of considerable value to Mao, as Behr noted: "In the eyes of Mao and other Chinese Communist leaders, Pu Yi, the last Emperor, was the epitome of all that had been evil in old Chinese society. If he could be shown to have undergone sincere, permanent change, what hope was there for the most diehard counter-revolutionary? The more overwhelming the guilt, the more spectacular the redemption-and the greater glory of the Chinese Communist Party". Puyi was to be subjected to "remodeling" to make him into a Communist.

Fushun War Criminals Mgmt Center 2
Fushun War Criminals Prison

In 1950, the Soviets loaded Puyi and the rest of the Manchukuo and Japanese prisoners onto a train that took them to China with Puyi convinced he would be executed when he arrived. Puyi was surprised at the kindness of his Chinese guards, who told him this was the beginning of a new life for him. Except for a period during the Korean War, when he was moved to Harbin, Puyi spent ten years in the Fushun War Criminals Prison in Liaoning province until he was declared reformed. The prisoners at Fushun were senior Japanese, Manchukuo and Kuomintang officials and officers. Puyi was the weakest and most hapless of the prisoners, and was often bullied by the others; he might not have survived his imprisonment had the warden Jin Yuan not gone out of his way to protect him. In 1951, Puyi learned for the first time that Wanrong had died in 1946.

Puyi had never brushed his teeth or tied his own shoelaces once in his life and had to do these basic tasks in prison, subjecting him to the ridicule of other prisoners. Much of Puyi's "remodeling" consisted of attending "Marxist-Leninist-Maoist discussion groups" where the prisoners would discuss their lives before being imprisoned. Puyi had to attend lectures where a former Japanese civil servant spoke about the exploitation of Manchukuo while a former officer in the Kenpeitai talked about how he rounded up people for slave labour and ordered mass executions. At one point, Puyi was taken to Harbin and Pingfang to see where the infamous Unit 731, the chemical and biological warfare unit in the Japanese Army, had conducted gruesome experiments on people. Puyi noted in shame and horror: "All the atrocities had been carried out in my name".

In late 1956, Puyi acted in a play, The Defeat of the Aggressors, about the Suez Crisis, playing the role of a left-wing Labour MP who challenges in the House of Commons a former Manchukuo minister playing the Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd. Puyi enjoyed the role and continued acting in plays about his life and Manchukuo; in one he played a Manchukuo functionary and kowtowed to a portrait of himself as Emperor of Manchukuo. During the Great Leap Forward, when millions of people starved to death in China, Jin chose to cancel Puyi's visits to the countryside lest the scenes of famine undo his growing faith in communism. Behr wrote that many are surprised that Puyi's "remodeling" worked, with an Emperor brought up as almost a god becoming content to be just an ordinary man, but he noted that "... it is essential to remember that Puyi was not alone in undergoing such successful 'remolding'. Tough KMT generals, and even tougher Japanese generals, brought up in the samurai tradition and the Bushido cult which glorifies death in battle and sacrifice to martial Japan, became, in Fushun, just as devout in their support of communist ideals as Puyi".

Puyi came to Peking on 9 December 1959 with special permission from Mao and lived for the next six months in an ordinary Peking residence with his sister before being transferred to a government-sponsored hotel. He had the job of sweeping the streets, and got lost on his first day of work, which led him to tell astonished passers-by: "I'm Puyi, the last Emperor of the Qing dynasty. I'm staying with relatives and can't find my way home". One of Puyi's first acts upon returning to Peking was to visit the Forbidden City as a tourist; he pointed out to other tourists that many of the exhibits were the things he had used in his youth. He voiced his support for the Communists and worked as a gardener at the Peking Botanical Gardens. The role brought Puyi a degree of happiness he had never known as an emperor, though he was notably clumsy. Behr noted that in Europe, people who played roles analogous to the role Puyi played in Manchukuo were generally executed; for example, the British hanged William Joyce ("Lord Haw-haw") for being the announcer on the English-language broadcasts of Radio Berlin, the Italians shot Benito Mussolini, and the French executed Pierre Laval, so many Westerners are surprised that Puyi was released from prison after only nine years to start a new life. Behr wrote that the Communist ideology explained this difference, writing: "In a society where all landlord and 'capitalist-roaders' were evil incarnate, it did not matter so much that Puyi was also a traitor to his country: he was, in the eyes of the Communist ideologues, only behaving true to type. If all capitalists and landlords were, by their very nature, traitors, it was only logical that Puyi, the biggest landlord, should also be the biggest traitor. And, in the last resort, Puyi was far more valuable alive than dead". In early 1960, Puyi met Premier Zhou Enlai, who told him: "You weren't responsible for becoming Emperor at the age of three or the 1917 attempted restoration coup. But you were fully to blame for what happened later. You knew perfectly well what you were doing when you took refuge in the Legation Quarter, when you traveled under Japanese protection to Tianjin, and when you agreed to become Manchukuo Chief Executive." Puyi responded by merely saying that though he did not choose to be an emperor, he had behaved with savage cruelty as boy-emperor and wished he could apologize to all the eunuchs he had flogged during his youth.

At the age of 56, he married Li Shuxian, a hospital nurse, on 30 April 1962, in a ceremony held at the Banquet Hall of the Consultative Conference. From 1964 until his death, he worked as an editor for the literary department of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, where his monthly salary was around 100 yuan.

Xiong Bingkun, Puyi and Lu Zhonglin
Puyi in 1961, flanked by Xiong Bingkun, a commander in the Wuchang Uprising, and Lu Zhonglin, who took part in Puyi's expulsion from the Forbidden City in 1924.
Spring 1967, Pujie and Saga Hiro visited Puyi
In the spring of 1967, Pujie and Saga Hiro visited Puyi, who was by then seriously ill.

In the 1960s, with encouragement from Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai, and the public endorsement of the Chinese government, Puyi wrote his autobiography From Emperor to Citizen (Chinese: 我的前半生; pinyin: Wǒdè Qián Bànshēng; Wade–Giles: Wo Te Ch'ien Pan-Sheng; literally "The First Half of My Life") together with Li Wenda, an editor at the People's Publishing Bureau. The ghostwriter Li had initially planned to use Puyi's "autocritique" written in Fushun as the basis of the book, expecting the job to take only a few months, but it used such wooden language as Puyi confessed to a career of abject cowardice, that Li was forced to start anew. It took four years to write the book.

Puyi objected to Pujie's attempt to reunite with Lady Saga, who had returned to Japan, writing to Zhou asking him to block Lady Saga from coming back to China, which led Zhou to reply: "The war's over, you know. You don't have to carry this national hatred into your own family." Behr concluded: "It is difficult to avoid the impression that Puyi, in an effort prove himself a 'remolded man', displayed the same craven attitude towards the power-holders of the new China that he had shown in Manchukuo towards the Japanese."

Many of the claims in From Emperor to Citizen, like the statement that it was the Kuomintang who stripped Manchuria bare of industrial equipment in 1945–46 rather than the Soviets, together with an "unreservedly rosy picture of prison life", are widely known to be false, but the book was translated into foreign languages and sold well. Behr wrote: "The more fulsome, cliché-ridden chapters in From Emperor to Citizen, dealing with Puyi's prison experiences, and written at the height of the Mao personality cult, give the impression of well-learned, regurgitated lessons."

From 1963 onward, Puyi regularly gave press conferences praising life in the People's Republic of China, and foreign diplomats often sought him out, curious to meet the famous "Last Emperor" of China. In an interview with Behr, Li Wenda told him that Puyi was a very clumsy man who "invariably forgot to close doors behind him, forgot to flush the toilet, forgot to turn the tap off after washing his hands, had a genius for creating an instant, disorderly mess around him". Puyi had been so used to having his needs catered to that he never entirely learned how to function on his own. He tried very hard to be modest and humble, always being the last person to board a bus, which meant that on one occasion he missed the ride, mistaking the bus conductor for a passenger. In restaurants he would tell waitresses, "You should not be serving me. I should be serving you." During this period, Puyi was known for his kindness, and once after he accidentally knocked down an elderly lady with his bicycle, he visited her every day in the hospital to bring her flowers to make amends until she was released.

Death and burial

Mao Zedong started the Cultural Revolution in 1966, and the youth militia known as the Maoist Red Guards saw Puyi, who symbolised Imperial China, as an easy target. Puyi was placed under protection by the local public security bureau and, although his food rations, salary, and various luxuries, including his sofa and desk, were removed, he was not publicly humiliated as was common at the time. The Red Guards attacked Puyi for his book From Emperor to Citizen because it had been translated into English and French, which displeased the Red Guards and led to copies of the book being burned in the streets. Various members of the Qing family, including Pujie, had their homes raided and burned by the Red Guards, but Zhou Enlai used his influence to protect Puyi and the rest of the Qing from abuses inflicted by the Red Guard. Jin Yuan, the man who had "remodelled" Puyi in the 1950s, fell victim to the Red Guard and became a prisoner in Fushun for several years, while Li Wenda, who had ghostwritten From Emperor to Citizen, spent seven years in solitary confinement. However, Puyi's health began to decline. He died in Peking of complications arising from kidney cancer and heart disease on 17 October 1967 at the age of 61.

In accordance with the laws of the People's Republic of China at the time, Puyi's body was cremated. His ashes were first placed at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery, alongside those of other party and state dignitaries. In 1995, as a part of a commercial arrangement, Puyi's ashes were transferred by his widow Li Shuxian to a new commercial cemetery named Hualong Imperial Cemetery (华龙皇家陵园) in return for monetary support. The cemetery is near the Western Qing Tombs, 120 km (75 mi) southwest of Peking, where four of the nine Qing emperors preceding him are interred, along with three empresses and 69 princes, princesses, and imperial concubines. In 2015, some descendants of the Aisin-Gioro clan bestowed Posthumous names upon Puyi and his wives.

Titles, honors, and decorations


Styles of
Xuantong Emperor
Imperial standard of the Qing Emperor.svg
Reference style His Imperial Majesty
Spoken style Your Imperial Majesty
Alternative style Son of Heaven (天子)

When he ruled as emperor of the Qing dynasty (and therefore emperor of China) from 1908 to 1912 and during his brief restoration in 1917, Puyi's era name was "Xuantong", so he was known as the "Xuantong Emperor" (simplified Chinese: 宣统皇帝; traditional Chinese: 宣統皇帝; pinyin: Xuāntǒng Huángdì; Wade–Giles: Hsüan1-t'ung3 Huang2-ti4) during those two periods. Puyi was also allowed to retain his title as Emperor of the Great Qing, being treated like a foreign monarch by the Republic of China until 5 November 1924.

As Puyi was also the last ruling emperor of China (not counting Yüan Shih-k'ai's abortive restoration of the imperial title), he is widely known as "the last emperor" (Chinese: 末代皇帝; pinyin: Mòdài Huángdì; Wade–Giles: Mo4-tai4 Huang2-ti4) in China and throughout the rest of the world. Some refer to him as "the last emperor of the Qing dynasty" (Chinese: 清末帝; pinyin: Qīng Mò Dì; Wade–Giles: Ch'ing1 Mo4-ti4).

Due to his abdication, Puyi is also known as the "yielded emperor" (Chinese: 遜帝; pinyin: Xùn Dì) or "abrogated emperor" (simplified Chinese: 废帝; traditional Chinese: 廢帝; pinyin: Fèi Dì). Sometimes, the character "Qing" (Chinese: ; pinyin: Qīng) is added in front of the two titles to indicate his affiliation with the Qing dynasty.

When Puyi ruled the puppet state of Manchukuo and assumed the title of Chief Executive of the new state, his era name was "Datong" (Ta-tung). As emperor of Manchukuo from 1934 to 1945, his era name was "Kangde" (Kang-te), so he was known as the "Kangde emperor" (Chinese: 康德皇帝; pinyin: Kāngdé Huángdì, Japanese: Kōtoku Kōtei) during that period of time.

Honours and decorations

Qing Dynasty
Decoration without ribbon - en.svg Order of the Peacock Feather
Decoration without ribbon - en.svg Order of the Blue Feather
Ribbon bar of the Chinese Order of the Double Dragon.svg Order of the Double Dragon
Decoration without ribbon - en.svg Order of the Imperial Throne
CN Order of the Yellow Dragon.svg Order of the Yellow Dragon
Red ribbon bar - general use.svg Order of the Red Dragon
Institution du Mérite militaire ribbon.png Order of the Blue Dragon
Ord.ElisabettaTeresa.PNG Order of the Black Dragon
Manchukuo Order of the Orchid Blossom ribbon.svg Grand Order of the Orchid Blossom
Manchukuo Order of the Illustrious Dragon ribbon.svg Order of the Illustrious Dragon
Manchukuo Order of the Auspicious Clouds ribbon.svg Order of the Auspicious Clouds
Order of the Pillars of State (Manchukuo).png Order of the Pillars of State
Order of the Most Holy Annunciation BAR.svg Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation (Italy)
Cavaliere di gran Croce Regno SSML BAR.svg Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, 1st Class (Italy)
Cavaliere di Gran Croce OCI Kingdom BAR.svg Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of Italy (Italy)
JPN Daikun'i kikkasho BAR.svg Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum (Japan)
JPN Toka-sho BAR.svg Order of the Paulownia Flowers (Japan)
OrderofCarolI.ribbon.gif Order of Carol I (Romania)

Portrayal in media


  • The Last Emperor, a 1986 Hong Kong film (Chinese title 火龍, literally means Fire Dragon) directed by Li Han-hsiang. Tony Leung Ka-fai played Puyi.
  • The Last Emperor, a 1987 film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. John Lone played the adult Puyi.
  • Aisin-Gioro Puyi (愛新覺羅·溥儀), a 2005 Chinese documentary film on the life of Puyi. Produced by CCTV, it was part of a series of ten documentary films about ten historical persons.
  • The Founding of a Party, a 2011 Chinese film directed by Huang Jianxin and Han Sanping. Child actor Yan Ruihan played Puyi.
  • 1911, a 2011 historical film directed by Jackie Chan and Zhang Li. The film tells of the founding of the Republic of China when Sun Yat-sen led the Xinhai Revolution to overthrow the Qing dynasty. The five-year-old Puyi is played by child actor Su Hanye. Although Puyi's time on screen is short, there are significant scenes showing how the emperor was treated at court before his abdication at the age of six.


  • The Misadventure of Zoo, a 1981 Hong Kong television series produced by TVB. Adam Cheng played an adult Puyi.
  • Modai Huangdi (末代皇帝; literally means The Last Emperor), a 1988 Chinese television series based on Puyi's autobiography From Emperor to Citizen, with Puyi's brother Pujie as a consultant for the series. Chen Daoming starred as Puyi.
  • Feichang Gongmin (非常公民; literally means Unusual Citizen), a 2002 Chinese television series directed by Cheng Hao. Dayo Wong starred as Puyi.
  • Ruten no Ōhi – Saigo no Kōtei (流転の王妃·最後の皇弟; Chinese title 流轉的王妃), a 2003 Japanese television series about Pujie and Hiro Saga. Wang Bozhao played Puyi.
  • Modai Huangfei (末代皇妃; literally means The Last Imperial Consort), a 2003 Chinese television series. Li Yapeng played Puyi.
  • Modai Huangdi Chuanqi (末代皇帝传奇; literally means The Legend of the Last Emperor), a 2015 Hong Kong/China television collaboration (59 episodes, each 45 minutes), starring Winston Chao

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Puyi para niños

  • Chinese emperors family tree (late)
  • Dynasties in Chinese history
  • List of heads of regimes who were later imprisoned
  • List of monarchs who lost their thrones in the 20th century
  • Puyi Wikimedia photos

Images for kids

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