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The Puppet Manchurian Imperial Palace

The Puppet Manchurian Imperial Palace was where Puyi, the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), lived and worked during his reign. During the Japanese occupation of Manchuria (1931-1945), Puyi was installed as the "puppet" ruler of the so-called State of Manchukuo. The Puppet Imperial Palace was built by the Japanese especially for Puyi to live and take part in political activities.

Located at No.3 Guangfu Road in the northeast corner of Changchun City in Jilin Province, the palace is surrounded by black palace walls that enclose an area of 12 hectares. It is composed of series of buildings erected in Chinese classical, European, and Japanese styles, including the Qinmin Building, Jixi Building, Tongde Hall and other subsidiary facilities.

Around the courtyards of the palace there were originally nine two-storeyed blockhouses surrounded by high walls made of concrete. The main gate of the palace was called the Laixun Gate, which was a special passageway for Puyi and commanders. The Baokang Gate in the west was the passageway for court staffs.

The Puppet Manchurian Imperial Palace was divided into two parts: inner court and outer court. The former was the living quarters of Puyi and his concubines. Its main architectures include Jixi Building on the west courtyard and Tongde Hall on the east courtyard. The outer court was where Puyi dealt with state affairs. Its main architectures include Qinmin Building, Huanyuan Building and Jiale Hall. What's more, there are gardens, man-made rockeries, a fish pond, a swimming pool, air-raid shelters, a racket court, a golf course, a hippodrome, a storeroom of books and paintings and other subsidiary facilities.

Among all buildings in the palace, the Jixi Building, Qinmin Building and Tongde Hall are the most outstanding, blending western and Chinese styles, are only two-storey and feature various designs. The Jixi Building was where Puyi and the empress Wanrong lived. On the second floor, there were Puyi's bedroom, reading room, the family hall for worshipping Buddha and the living rooms of Wanrong and concubine Tan Yuling.

The Qinmin Building was Puyi's office building. In its southeast corner is a large room, i.e. its main hall, where Puyi handled affairs of state, received foreign ambassadors and consuls, and issued certificates of appointment to and conferred orders or medals to his puppet government officials.

The Tongde Hall, built during the period from 1936 to 1938, is the largest building in the puppet palace. Japanese engineers were responsible for the design and the supervision of its construction. Its interior decoration is very gorgeous. Now, the east courtyard has been changed into a history museum while the west one has become a display hall. In the palace there stand wax statues of Emperor Puyi and some imperial concubines and display photos of the Japanese invasion and of Puyi's life.

Since Puyi was the last emperor of China, the Puppet Manchurian Imperial Palace he lived during his reign (1932-1945) is regarded as the last palace of Chinese feudal dynasties.

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