This week we look at the Second Sino-Japanese War from the opposite angle: not those who fought, but those who collaborated. We’ll discuss the titular leader of Manchukuo and the head of the “reformed” Chinese regime with an eye towards shedding some light on who collaborated and why.
Listen to the episode
From Emperor to Citizen: The Autobiography of Aisin-Gioro Pu-yi.
Sovereignty and Authenticity: Manchukuo and the East Asian Modern.
Japan’s Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall, 1854-1945.
Forgotten Ally: China’s World War II, 1937-1945.
The Manchurian Myth.
Puyi sits next to his father Zaifeng, Prince Chun. Circa 1909.
Puyi in 1922, during his “house arrest” in Beijing.
Pu Yi as Emperor of Manchukuo, c. 1940. The military uniform is reminiscent of the one the Showa Emperor (Hirohito) would wear during public appearances.
After the end of the war, Puyi was captured by the Soviet Union, which would later hand him over to China. After a decade of imprisonment, he was pardoned, reformed, and ultimately ended up joining the Communist Party.
Wang Jingwei (left) with Chiang Kaishek, c. early 1930s. After Chiang came out on top in the battle for the control of the Guomindang, the two men maintained a cordial but frosty relationship which would ultimately collapse during the war with Japan.
Wang Jingwei as President of the “Reformed” Republic of China. The banner behind him says “The Revolutionary Wang Jingwei.”
Wang Jingwei greets Nazi diplomats on an official state visit, 1941.
Wang Jingwei (center) looks on as Subhas Chandra Bose and Hideki Tojo meet for the first time.
The Greater East Asia Conference ,1943. From Left to Right: Ba Maw (Burma) Zhang Jinghui (Manchukuo) Wang Jingwei (China) Hideki Tojo (Japan) Wan Waithayakon (Thailand) Jose P. Laurel (The Philippines) Subhas Chandra Bose (India)