Grew Up… in the Forbidden City, the imperial palace in the center of Beijing. Puyi had known little else aside from his luxurious life, as he lived inside the palace gates from age three.
Living… in a Communist Reeducation Camp. After the 1949 Revolution, Puyi was forced into the life of a proletarian communist. But as he understands it, “This isn’t a school. It’s a prison. A real prison.”
Profession… The Son of Heaven, the Lord of Ten Thousand Years. Puyi, despite his fall from the throne, will always see himself as the Emperor of China.
Relationship Status… married to the Empress Wanrong. Puyi, though, has always been prevented from having a normal relationship. During his years at The Forbidden City, his only true companions were his wet nurse and his tutor, the aristocratic Scot, Sir Reginald Johnston. As he confides in him, “I want a modern wife, Johnson, who speaks English, and French, and who can dance the quick-step.”
Challenge… adjusting to the rapidly changing times. Emperor Puyi was born into a dying way of life: the old royal court and the Qing Dynasty were doomed to give way to modern revolutions.
Personality… severely damaged, confused and out of place. The residents and eunuchs of The Forbidden City once treated Puyi as an absolute God. His twisted sense of power, his loneliness and his anger, have made him into a complicated, sad man.
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