Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Last Emperor

During the afternoon, my colleague Jason and I managed to slip away to visit the 'Illegitimate Manchukuo Imperial Palace Museum' where China's last emperor, Puyi, lived from 1932-45 as the Japanese-appointed puppet Emperor of Manchuria. It features heavily in Bertolucci's film, particularly the hall where a dance party was set.

It was fascinating. The rooms were beautifully restored and there was an excellent exhibition about Puyi's life, with commendably realistic dioramas and a fair amount of English captioning. Next to the palace is a huge, new, no-expense-spared museum about the whole episode of Japanese occupation which despite the hurry, made for a sombre experience.

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