Museum visit - From Son of Heaven to Commoner: Puyi, The Last Emperor of China

  • Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence 175 Tung Hei Road Hong Kong Island Hong Kong

2016 marked the 110th anniversary of Puyi's birth. It also marked the 105th anniversary of the 1911 Revolution, a watershed in the history of modern China, which brought an end to the imperial rule of the Qing dynasty and saw the birth of the Republic of China. Aisin - Gioro Puyi was almost three years old in 1908 when he began his reign as the Xuantong Emperor. He was the tenth and last emperor of the Qing dynasty which had ruled China since 1644.

The 1911 Revolution overthrew the Qing dynasty and the following year the Dowager Empress Longyu issued an Edict of Abdication. Thereafter Puyi was allowed to retain his title and to live in the Forbidden City. However a coup in 1924 lead by warlord Feng Yu-xiang resulted in the expulsion of the former emperor. Puyi moved to Tianjin where he lived for seven years before collaborating with the Japanese who installed him as the head of the puppet state of Manchukuo.

After the Second World War Puyi was regarded as a war criminal and was held captive by the Russians. He was subsequently returned to China and detained at the Fushun War Criminals Management Centre.

A special exhibition is currently being held at the Museum of Coastal Defence, Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong which will end on 13.02.2017. The Society has arranged a curator guided tour of the exhibition which is expected to last approximately one hour in duration. Members may also wish to note that the exhibition includes two 50-minute long archive documentaries which are shown throughout the day.


Programme Co-ordinator: Mr. Michael Broom

Date: Saturday, 21 January 2017

Time: 10:30 am – 11:30 am (Please assemble at the ground floor entrance adjacent to the car park at 10:15am) 

Venue: Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, 175 Tung Hei Rd, Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong (Nearest MTR - Shau Kei Wan MTR Station) 

Admission: $50 will be collected at the venue

Booking: Please email membership@royalasiaticsociety.org.hk in advance to reserve your place. (The visit is restricted to 20 pax.)