Pu Yi

Pu Yi (pō yē) [key] or Henry Pu-yi, Manchu Aisin Gioro, 1906–67, last emperor (1908–12) of China, under the reign name Hsuan T'ung. After his abdication, the new republican government granted him a large government pension and permitted him to live in the Forbidden City of Beijing until 1924. After 1925, he lived in the Japanese concession in Tianjin. In 1934, reigning under the name K'ang Te, he became the emperor of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo, or Manchuria. He was captured by the Russians in 1945 and kept as their prisoner. In 1946, Pu Yi testified at the Tokyo war crimes trial that he had been the unwilling tool of the Japanese militarists and not, as they claimed, the instrument of Manchurian self-determination. In 1950 he was handed over to the Chinese Communists, and he was imprisoned at Shenyang until 1959, when Mao Zedong granted him amnesty.

See his autobiography, From Emperor to Citizen (tr. by W. J. F. Jenner, 1964–65); study by H. McAleary (1963).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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