Pujie (left) and Saga Hiro at their wedding in 1937
16 April 1907|
|Died||28 February 1994
|Burial||Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi, Japan, and Beijing, China|
Husheng (b. 1941)
Pujie (Manchu: ᡦᡠ ᡤᡳᠶᡝ; Pu-giye; 16 April 1907 – 28 February 1994), courtesy name Junzhi, art name Bingfan,[notes 1] was a Chinese nobleman of Manchu descent. Born in the Aisin Gioro clan, the imperial clan of the Qing dynasty, Pujie was the younger brother of Puyi, the Last Emperor. After the fall of the Qing dynasty, Pujie went to Japan, where he was educated and married to Saga Hiro, a Japanese noblewoman. In 1937, he moved to Manchukuo, where his brother ruled as a puppet emperor under Japanese control during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945). After the war ended, Pujie was captured by Soviet forces, held in Soviet prison camps for five years, and then extradited back to the People's Republic of China, where he was incarcerated for about 10 years in the Fushun War Criminals Management Centre. He was later pardoned and released from prison by the Chinese government, after which he joined the Communist Party and served in a number of positions in the party until his death in 1994.
Pujie was the second son of Zaifeng (Prince Chun) and his wife Youlan. As a child, he was brought to the Forbidden City in Beijing to be a playmate and classmate to his brother, Puyi. A well-known incident recounted how Puyi threw a tantrum when he saw that the inner lining of one of Pujie's coats was yellow, because yellow was traditionally a colour reserved only for the emperor.
Pujie was first married in 1924 to a Manchu noblewoman, Tang Shixia, but they had no children. He left his wife behind when he went to Japan, and the marriage was dissolved some years later. After graduating from the Imperial Japanese Army Academy, Pujie agreed to an arranged marriage with a Japanese noblewoman. He selected Saga Hiro, who was a relative of the Japanese imperial family, from a photograph from a number of possible candidates vetted by the Kwantung Army. As Puyi did not have an heir, the wedding had strong political implications, and was aimed at both fortifying relations between the two countries and introducing Japanese blood into the Manchu imperial family.
The engagement ceremony took place at the Manchukuo embassy in Tokyo on 2 February 1937 with the official wedding held in the Imperial Army Hall at Kudanzaka, Tokyo, on 3 April. In October, the couple moved to Hsinking, the capital of Manchukuo, where Puyi was then the Emperor.
Life in Manchukuo
As Puyi had no children, Pujie was regarded as first in line to succeed his brother as the emperor of Manchukuo; the Japanese officially proclaimed him the heir apparent. However, Pujie was not appointed by his brother as the heir to the throne of the Qing dynasty, as imperial tradition stated that a childless emperor should choose his heir from a subsequent generation instead of from his own generation. While in Manchukuo, Pujie served as honorary head of the Manchukuo Imperial Guards. He returned briefly to Japan in 1944 to attend the Army Staff College.
At the time of the collapse of Manchukuo during the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in August 1945, Pujie initially attempted to escape to Japan with his brother. However, as it became apparent that no escape was possible, he opted to return to Hsinking in an unsuccessful attempt to surrender the city to forces of the Republic of China, rather than have the city fall into foreign hands.
Pujie was arrested by the Soviet Red Army and first sent to a prison camp in Chita, and then to another in Khabarovsk along with his brother and other relatives. He spent about five years in the Soviet prison camps until 1950, when the Sino-Soviet rapprochment allowed him and his fellow captives to be extradited back to the People's Republic of China.
Life in the People's Republic of China
On his return to China, Pujie was incarcerated in the War Criminals Management Centre in Fushun, Liaoning. A model prisoner, he was eventually pardoned and released from prison by the Chinese government. He joined the Communist Party and served in a number of positions.
In 1978, Pujie became a deputy from Shanghai at the 5th National People's Congress. He subsequently served a member of the Politburo Standing Committee and Vice Chairman of the Nationalities Committee of the 6th National People's Congress in 1983. He was appointed Deputy Head of the China-Japan Friendship Group from 1985. He rose to a seat on the Presidium of the 7th National People's Congress in 1988. From 1986, Pujie was also Honorary Director for the Handicapped Welfare Fund.
Pujie was also a technical adviser for the 1987 film The Last Emperor directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. On 28 November 1991, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by Ritsumeikan University. He died of illness at 0755 hours on 28 February 1994 in Beijing at the age of 87. His body was cremated and half of his ashes were buried in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan, while the other half were buried in Beijing.
|Ancestors of Pujie|
Pujie's first wife was Tang Yiying (唐怡莹; 1904–1993), who was better known as Tang Shixia (唐石霞). She was from the Tatara clan (他他拉氏), a Manchu clan, and was the daughter of Zhiqi, a brother of the Guangxu Emperor's concubines Consort Zhen and Consort Jin. Pujie married Tang when he was 17, but did not get along well with her. In 1926, Tang became Zhang Xueliang's mistress and broke ties with Pujie and his family. When Pujie went to Japan for his studies, Tang had another affair – this time with Lu Xiaojia (盧筱嘉), the son of the warlord Lu Yongxiang. She looted Pujie's ancestral house, the Prince Chun Residence in Beijing. Since then, Pujie and Tang had lived separately until their divorce. In 1949, Tang moved to Hong Kong and became a lecturer at the School of Eastern Languages in the University of Hong Kong.
In 1935, when Pujie returned to China from his studies in Japan, Puyi tried to help his brother find a Manchu wife. Pujie met one Wang Mintong (王敏彤) but they never married.
Pujie eventually married Saga Hiro, a Japanese noblewoman related to the Japanese imperial family, under an arranged marriage. They had two daughters: Huisheng (1938–1957) and Husheng (嫮生; born 1940). Huisheng died on 10 December 1957 at Mount Amagi in Japan in what appeared to be a murder-suicide case. Husheng married Fukunaga Kenji (福永健治) and became known as "Fukunaga Kosē" after her marriage. The couple have five children.
Under the terms of a Manchukuo succession law adopted in 1937, Pujie, as the emperor's full-brother, was heir to the throne of Manchukuo when Puyi died in 1967. Pujie had no sons. When he died, the right of succession was passed to his closest male relative, his half-brother Jin Youzhi.
- Pu Jie, 87, Dies, Ending Dynasty Of the Manchus", New York Times, March 2, 1994.
- Cotter, Kids Who Rule, pp.76
- Lebra, Above the Clouds pp.213
- Mackerras, The Cambridge Handbook of Contemporary China. PP73
- Behr, Edward (1977). The Last Emperor. Bantam. ISBN 0-553-34474-9.
- Cotter, Edward (2007). Kids Who Rule: The Remarkable Lives of Five Child Monarchs. Annick Press. ISBN 1-55451-062-7.
- Lebra, Takie Sugiyama. (1987). Above the Clouds: Status Culture of the Modern Japanese Nobility. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-07602-8.
- Mackerras, Colin; Amanda Yorke (1986). The Cambridge Handbook of Contemporary China. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-38755-8.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pujie.|
- "The Last Emperor's Brother HUKETSU" (Chiba Prefecture, Japan's English-language page)
- Information about TV Asahi's (Japan) Autumn 2003 dramatization of Pujie and Lady Hiro Saga's marriage, Ryuuten no ouhi – Saigo no koutei (流転の王妃・最後の皇弟)
PujieBorn: 16 April 1907 Died: 28 February 1994
|Titles in pretence|
|— TITULAR —
Emperor of China
17 October 1967 – 28 February 1994
Reason for succession failure:
Empire abolished in 1912
|— TITULAR —
Emperor of Manchukuo
17 October 1967 – 28 February 1994
Reason for succession failure:
Empire abolished in 1945