Aisin Gioro Puyi (7 February 1906 - 17 October 1967), also known as Henry Puyi, was the last emperor of China. He ruled in two periods between 1908 and 1924, firstly as the Xuantong Emperor (宣統皇帝) from 1908 to 1912, and nominally as a non-ruling puppet for twelve days in 1917. He was the twelfth and final member of the Qing Dynasty to rule over China. After his ouster, Puyi resided in Tianjin, until he was installed as the Kangde Emperor of the puppet state of Manchukuo in 1932 by the Japanese government, a nominal position which he held until Manchukuo ceased to exist in 1945. He was captured by the Soviet Union in 1945, and, despite his claims to have converted to Communism, was repatriated to the People's Republic of China. There he served ten years of hard labor at a "reeducation" center. He was released in 1959 and lived the rest of his life as an anonymous gardener in Beijing. Occasionally he visited the Forbidden City, where few if any of his fellow tourists knew that he had once reigned as a monarch.
Many in the Japanesearmy were contemptuous of Puyi's inability to secure his nation's borders against Soviet-backed Mongol raiders. However, they recognized that, as Manchukuo was heavily populated by Japanese citizens, they were obliged to respond to the Emperor's demands for help. When they launched an invasion of the Soviet Union from across the Manchukuo border much farther east on 1 April 1939, however, they transferred troops away from the Mongolian frontier and left Puyi's subjects to their own devices.