Chinese Emperor Puyi: The Last Emperor of China
Anthony Ambrosius Aurelius
“When Chinese Emperor Puyi (pronounced “pu-yee”) experienced his Japanese allies running into increasing resistance during their incursion into Chinese territory, the Japanese decided to retaliate by enforcing draconian classification and assimilation policies, displacing Chinese villagers and looting their homes. Large numbers of civilians were brutally massacred and a network of concentration camps constructed. It was during this time that Puyi’s principal wife Wanrong, (pronounced “one-wrong”) who he married in 1922, took to smoking opium frequently having felt neglected both physically and emotionally. This lead to a serious addiction which left Wanrong with photosensitivity and an aversion to walking or moving much. Puyi turned a blind eye to this habit, but when Wanrong began an extramarital affair with her servant and became pregnant, Puyi could no longer look away. It is unclear as to what Puyi’s specific actions truly were however some accounts state that the infant girl born out of wedlock died of illness and other reports state that Puyi had the baby burnt alive in the palaces kitchen stove. Puyi was quick to take another concubine wife, which he referred to as “necessary decoration”. Puyi married 17 year old Tan Yuling (pronounced “tan-you-ling) who ended up being the closest analog Puyi would experience to a soulmate during his lifetime. Yuling was highly educated and bright, and because of this, she was able to quietly influence Puyi against the Japanese.
In a devious move, the Japanese orchestrated an arranged marriage by Puyi’s brother Pujie (pronounced “pu-jee-eh”) to Lady Hiro Saga, a relative of Japanese Emperor Hirohito. Because of reputed impotence or perhaps infertility, the Japanese expected Puyi not to bear children and because of this, any of his brothers children would be both heirs to the throne of Manchuko (pronounced “man-chew-ko”) as well as half Japanese with ties to the royal Japanese bloodline. Although Pujie loved his new wife, Puyi was unsettled, especially after learning that the couple was pregnant.
During this same period, the Japanese mount a full scale assault upon China, forcing Chiang Kai- Shek, (pronounced “chang-kai-sheck”) and the Kuomintang government (pronounced “kwo-min- tang”) to reluctantly decide to cooperate with Mao Zedong’s forces to repel the invaders. Puyi finds himself in the increasingly uncomfortable position of having to support a foreign power”