The Tientsin incident of 1931 was the operation planned by the Kwantung Army of the Empire of Japan to place Puyi on the throne of the Japanese-controlled Manchuria. The plan, orchestrated by Colonel Kenji Doihara and Colonel Itagaki Seishiro was successful, and Puyi became the Chief Executive of Manchukuo the following year. Puyi was subsequently enthroned as the Kangde Emperor in 1934.
After the Xinhai Revolution of 1912 overthrew the Qing Dynasty in China, the last Qing Emperor, Puyi, continued to live in the Forbidden City in Beijing. He was expelled by the warlord Feng Yuxiang in 1924, and found refuge within the extraterritorial Japanese concession in Tientsin.
In 1931, the Imperial Japanese Army invaded Manchuria without prior authorization from either the Imperial General Headquarters or the civilian government in Tokyo. After quickly overrunning the territory, and carving out a new state theoretically independent of Japan, the Japanese Army needed to find symbols of legitimacy, whereby the new state would be accorded international diplomatic recognition. Restoration of Puyi to the throne of his Manchu ancestors provided one such symbol, and emphasized Japan's stance in favor of tradition over communism and republicanism, and had tremendous propaganda value.
Puyi had occasion to meet with many Japanese military and civilian leaders during his stay in Tientsin, and his distant relative (and occasional house guest) Yoshiko Kawashima was a close confidant of Doihara. Puyi was receptive to the scheme, which he saw as a potential stepping stone to restoration of his rule over all of China; on the other hand, he feared becoming a pawn of the Japanese, and the dangers to himself should such a plan fail.
Doihara was on a tight schedule. For the plan to succeed, it was necessary to land Puyi at Yingkow before that port became frozen; therefore, it was imperative that the operation be brought to a successful conclusion before 16 November 1931.
Japanese Foreign Minister Kijuro Shidehara had learned of the scheme to return Puyi to Manchuria and had instructed the Japanese Consul-General at Tientsin to oppose the plan. On the afternoon of 1 November 1931, the Consul-General contacted Doihara, but Doihara was determined and stated that if the Emperor was willing to risk his life by returning to Manchuria, it would be easy to make the whole affair appear to be instigated by Chinese royalists; he further stated that he would confer with the Emperor; and if the Emperor was not willing, then he would dispatch a telegram to the military authorities at Mukden to call off the operation.
During the evening of 2 November 1931, Doihara visited Puyi and informed him that conditions were favorable and that such an opportunity should not be missed. Japan would recognize him as Emperor of an independent state and conclude defensive and offensive alliances with his new country to defend against the possibility that Chinese Nationalist armies would attack. Puyi appeared willing to follow Doihara's advice upon being told that the Imperial House of Japan favored his restoration, but still refused to give a definite answer.
The Japanese Consul-General continued his efforts to dissuade Doihara, but without results. Some difficulty was encountered by Doihara when a Chinese newspaper in Shanghai published an account of the operation and alleged that Puyi had refused Doihara's offer.
To hasten Puyi's decision, Doihara resorted to various schemes. Puyi received a bomb concealed in a basket of fruit; he also received threatening letters from the "Headquarters of the Iron Blood Group", as well as from others. Doihara instigated a riot in Tientsin on 8 November 1931 with the assistance of underworld characters, secret societies and rogues of the city, whom he paid and supplied with arms furnished by Itagaki. Arrested rioters swore later that they had been paid forty Mexican dollars each by Japanese agents provocateurs.
The Japanese Consul-General, in a further attempt to carry out Shidehara's orders, warned the Chinese police of the impending riot and they were able to prevent it from being a complete success; but it threw Tientsin into disorder. A Chinese mob of 2,000 clashed with Chinese police near the border between the Chinese city and the foreign concession. The Japanese garrison commander repulsed rioters from the vicinity of the Japanese concession with warning bursts of machine gun fire, but fired his field pieces into the Chinese quarter of Tientsin to create further confusion.
The riots continued into the night of 10 November 1931, when Doihara secretly removed Puyi from his residence to a pier in a motor car guarded by a party equipped with machine guns, entered a small Japanese military launch with a few plainclothed men and four or five armed Japanese soldiers and headed down the river to Tanggu District. At Tanggu, the party boarded the ship Awaji Maru bound for Yingkow. Puyi arrived at Yingkow on 13 November 1931. A statement was issued to the news agencies that Puyi had fled for his life as a result of threats and the riots in Tientsin.
On 1 March 1932, Puyi was installed as Chief Executive of Manchukuo. On 1 March 1934, he was inaugurated as Emperor of Manchukuo.
Puyi, courtesy name Yaozhi (曜之) was the last emperor of China as the eleventh and final Qing dynasty ruler, becoming the Xuantong Emperor at age two, but forced to abdicate on 12 February 1912 due to the Xinhai Revolution. He later served as the ruler of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo during World War II.
Manchukuo, officially the State of Manchuria prior to 1934 and the Empire of Manchuria after 1934, was a puppet state of the Empire of Japan in Northeast China and Inner Mongolia from 1932 until 1945. It was founded as a republic in 1932 after the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, and in 1934 it became a constitutional monarchy. Under the de facto control of Japan, it had limited international recognition.
Yoshiko Kawashima was a Qing dynasty princess of Manchu descent. She was raised in Japan and served as a spy for the Japanese Kwantung Army and Manchukuo during the Second Sino-Japanese War. She is sometimes known in fiction under the pseudonym "Eastern Mata Hari". After the war, she was captured, tried, and executed as a traitor by the Nationalist government of the Republic of China. She was also a notable descendant of Hooge, eldest son of Hong Taiji.
The Mukden Incident, or Manchurian Incident, was a false flag event staged by Japanese military personnel as a pretext for the 1931 Japanese invasion of Manchuria.
Seishirō Itagaki was a Japanese military officer and politician who served as a general in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II and War Minister from 1938 to 1939.
Kanji Ishiwara was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II. He and Itagaki Seishirō were the men primarily responsible for the Mukden Incident that took place in Manchuria in 1931.
Kenji Doihara was a Japanese army officer. As a general in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, he was instrumental in the Japanese invasion of Manchuria.
Manchukuo was a puppet state set up by the Empire of Japan in Manchuria which existed from 1931 to 1945. The Manchukuo regime was established four months after the Japanese withdrawal from Shanghai with Puyi as the nominal but powerless head of state to add some semblance of legitimacy, as he was a former emperor and an ethnic Manchu.
The Tanggu Truce, sometimes called the Tangku Truce, was a ceasefire that was signed between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan in Tanggu District, Tianjin, on May 31, 1933. It formally ended the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, which had begun in 1931.
The political situation in Japan (1914–44) dealt with the realities of the two World Wars and their effect on Japanese national policy.
Masahiko Amakasu was an officer in the Imperial Japanese Army imprisoned for his involvement in the Amakasu Incident, the extrajudicial execution of anarchists after the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, who later became head of the Manchukuo Film Association.
The foreign concessions in Tianjin were concession territories ceded by Qing China to a number of European countries, the United States and Japan within the city of Tianjin. There were altogether nine foreign concessions in old Tianjin on the eve of World War II. These concessions also contributed to the rapid development of Tianjin from the early to mid-20th century. The first foreign concessions in Tianjin were granted in 1860. By 1943, all the foreign concessions, save the Japanese concession, had ceased to exist de facto.
Zheng Xiaoxu was a Chinese statesman, diplomat and calligrapher. He served as the first Prime Minister of Manchukuo.
The Defense of Harbin occurred during the early Second Sino-Japanese War, as part of the campaign of the Invasion of Manchuria by forces of the Empire of Japan from 25 January to 4 February 1932.
The Museum of the Imperial Palace of Manchukuo is a museum in the northeastern corner of Changchun, Jilin province, northeast China. The palace was the official residence created by the Imperial Japanese Army for China's last emperor Puyi to live in as part of his role as Emperor of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. In the People's Republic of China the structures are generally referred to as the Puppet Emperor's Palace & Exhibition Hall. It is classified as a AAAAA scenic area by the China National Tourism Administration.
Wanrong, also known as Xuantong Empress, of the Manchu Plain White Banner Gobulo clan, was the wife and empress consort of Puyi, the Xuantong Emperor of China. She was titular Empress consort of the Qing dynasty from 1922 until abolition of the monarchy in 1924. She was also Empress consort of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo from 1934 until abolition of the monarchy took place in 1945. She was posthumously honoured with the title Empress Xiaokemin.
Zang Shiyi was a Chinese general and Governor of Liaoning Province at the time of the invasion of Manchuria in 1932.
Chū Kudō, real name Tetsusaburō Kudō, was a Japanese adventurer, Manchukuo politician and Lieutenant General in the Manchukuo Imperial Army.
Xie Jieshi was a cabinet minister in the Japanese-dominated Empire of Manchukuo, who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The Kwantung Army was an army group of the Imperial Japanese Army from 1919 to 1945.