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The Last Eunuch of China-The Life of Sun Yaoting

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The Last Eunuch of China-The Life of Sun Yaoting
From Emperor to Citizen: The Autobiography of Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi
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Author: Jia Yinghua; Sun Haichen;
Language: English
Format: Papercover
Page: 314
Publication Date: 10/2008
ISBN: 9787508514079
Publisher: China Intercontinental Press
Details

Spanish version available at http://www.purpleculture.net/el-ultimo-eunuco-de-china-p-18728/

China's last eunuch Sun Yaoting died in December 1996 at age 94.He took with him intimate stories of the last vestiges of Imperial China and was himself the last in the line of eunuchs who had served the royal family for more than 2,000 years.His personal journey from poor farmboy to revered servant to Pu Yi and Wanrong, China's last emperor and empress, is an amazing journey which also chronicles nearly one century of turbulence and upheavalin Chinese history and culture.

This engrossing biography by Chinese historian Jia Yinghua features first, hand accounts by Sun Yaoting of his adventures in the Forbidden City, his reunion with Pu Yi in Japanese-held Manchukuo in the 1930s. His return to"normal"1ife as a community organizer in the Buddhist temple where he lived out the rest of his life.

Beginning in the early 1900s, Sun's story follows events in China such as Pu Yi's abdication of Imperial rule, The Japanese occupation of China which ended with the conclusion of World War II, China's civil war and the eventual victory of the Communist Party in 1949, The Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), and the subsequent "opening up" policy from which China has emerged as a leading economic and political power worldwide.

The Last Eunuch of China: The Life of Sun Yaoting is a unique glimpse into China's storied past from the perspective of a man who faithfully served China's Imperial Family in the Forbidden City but was later forced to maneuver himself among the tremendous and often turbulent events that became the history of 20th century China. AS Sun Yaoting recalls his experiences,he also recounts the life of the dwindling eunuch community in China.

About the Author

Jia Yinghua is a member of the Chinese Writers Associationand vice-president of the Society of Chinese Biographers.He is widely acknowledged as the leading source ofhistorical materials on late-Qing Dynasty figures such asPu Yi, the last emperor of China and Sun Yaoting, the lasteunuch. His book, "Second Half of the Last Emperor ofChina" was critically acclaimed by more than 100 Chineseand overseas media. It was a follow-up to the book, "FromEmperor to Citizen," which was written by Pu Yi in the1960s. It won the Golden Key Prize for Books in China.His other books include "The Heir of the Last Emperor"which sold more than 100,000 copies, "Decoding the LastMarriage of the Last Emperor Pu Yi," and "Pu Jie - TheBiography of the Younger Brother of the Last Emperor."All received numerous reviews by hundreds of domesticand overseas media. Jia Yinghua has collected more thanten millions Chinese words and thousands of photographsof the Last Emperor and he other members of the lastImperial Family. In addition, to documentaries producedby Jia, "The Last Eunuch Revisits the Forbidden City" and"The Last Eunuch Recalls His Life" were both shown in theForbidden City for years.He also wrote the tombstone inscriptions for the LastEmperor Pu Yi, as well as the inscriptions for Sun Yaoting,the last eunuch. In addition, his calligraphies wereselected as works for "The First Exhibition of the FamousWorks by Famous People in China" and "The Calligraphyand Paintings Exhibition of Contemporary Notables."
Media Recommendation
Mr. Sun s biographer, Jia Ymghua recorded Mr. Sun s story in a book titled, The Last unuch of Ch,na: The Life of Sun Yaot, ng.
——Excerpt from The New York Times
hina's last living eunuch, Sun Yaoting, recalled the cruelty of the final emperor.
——Excerpt from The Washington Post
Sun Yaoting recalls his life in "The Last Eunuch of China: The Life of Sun Yaoting", written by a long-time friend. Jia Yinghua who also wrote"Second Half of the Last Emperor of China. "
——Excerpt from The South China Morning Post
The author Jia Yinghua decribes the end of the Qing Dynasty through the eyes of a eunuch and the changes that have taken place in China.
——Excerpt from China Daily
Foreword
As the last eunuch in Chinese history I have lived for over ninety years.All sorts of feelings welled up in my mind as I look back on the past.

I was born in western Shuangtang of Jinghai County in Tianjin on the30th day of the 1 lth month in the 28th year of Emperor Guangxu's reign.I was castrated at eight and came to Beijing at fifteen, dreaming of richesand honors. I served Prince Zai Tao in his residence for some time beforeentering the Forbidden City the following year. I first waited on chief eunuchRen Dexiang, then went to work at the Accounting Office. Afterward Ibecame an attendant of High Consort Duankang and Empress Wanrong andcame into close contact with the abdicated Emperor, Pu Yi. All these peopleremain fresh in my memory as if it all happened only yesterday. I saw withmy own eyes many behind-the-scenes occurrences in Pu Yi's little court andwitnessed the episode when he was driven out of the Forbidden City.
After a short time in the Northern Mansion I went to stay at theTemple of Prosperity, where a lot of eunuchs lived. I also came into contactwith Xiaode Zhang. When Pu Yi proclaimed himself Emperor of the puppetstate Manchukuo, I went to Changchun to serve him. Much of what I sawand heard there was unknown to the public. I returned to Beijing on accountof illness and stayed along with other eunuchs in various places such as theTemple of Prosperity and the Temple of Mounted Lord Guan. I have spentmost of my life in the company of my eunuch friends. I have tasted bothjoys and sorrows. After the founding of New China I bgan to work for thegovernment and became a religious cadre.
Jia Yinghua, a researcher of late Qing history, has been a friend of minefor many years. We feel close in spite of our age difference and often bare ourhearts to each other. Over a long period of time I disclosed to him, for thevery first time, a lot about the secret life of eunuchs. Based on my accountand his research, he has completed this book about my life. Though manypeople have written about me, this is the most reliable and best-researchedbook yet. It is a truthful history free of fabrications or farfetched conclusions.q'herefore I have composed this foreword in my own handwriting.
Sample
Life was hard for Sun Huaibao and his family. The room whereLiujin was born was built entirely of sun-dried mud bricks and had onlythree beams for support. The furniture consisted of a stove, a water tank,an unpainted wooden chest for storing flour, a table, a broken chair and abench.
Liujin grew up to be a sensible child. One day when he was quite small,he worked all morning in the flourmill driving the donkey. After lunch heput down the rice bowl and left the table at once. "Where are you going?"asked his father.
"I'm going to put in some hay for the donkey!" he answered.
His parents could not help feeling proud of their young son. Like otherchildren in poor families, he had a precocious ability to share life's burdenswith his parents.
At the approach of winter Liujin and his elder brothers had to go outcollecting firewood. They always managed to gather two big piles. In spiteof their poverty Liujin was a cheerful boy who seldom complained aboutanything.
One day his father took him to a village fair. "Dad, the corn cones arenot dry yet," Liujin said. "Let's buy some sorghum instead."
"Don't you worry about it, my boy," his father replied.
Back home Sun Huaibao praised Liujin to his wife. "He's a good boy! He surely knows sorghum is cheaper but does not taste as good as corn!"
From his grandfather Liujin learned something about his ancestry. One day Grandpa called him over and told him to take off his shoes.
"What for?" asked Liujin.
"Take a look. Does the little toe of your left foot tilt outward?"
Liujin looked carefully. "Yes, it does!"
"Now look again. Is the little toe much shorter than other ones?"
"Yes, Grandpa!"
"Remember, everyone who has such toes comes from a big willow tree in Shanxi."
Liujin took Grandpa at his word. Later he learned that the so-called "big willow tree" referred to Hongdong County of Shanxi Province.
Table of Contents
Prologue
Castration
1. The Chief Eunuch Comes Home
2. A Childhood Dream
3. The Castration
4. Private School
Prince Zai Tao's Mansion
1. Arriving in the Capital
2. The Imperial Uncle32
3. Loss of the Pigtail
4. The Restoration
5.Leaving Zai Tao
The Forbidden City
1. Entry into the Palace
2. Chief Eunuch Ren
3. High Consort Duankang
4. The Theatrical Troupe
5. Death of Emperor's Mother
In the Red Walls
1. Head Eunuch Mu
2. The Accounting Office
3. Constant Learning
4. Palace of Great Benevolence
5. Stories and Anecdotes
6. The Emperor's Wedding
7. Dispersal of Eunuchs
Serving the Imperial Couple
1. The Empress
2. Palace of Gathering Elegance
3. Languishing in Seclusion
4. The Capricious Emperor.
5. The Emperor's Secrets
Sunset in the Forbidden City
1. The Empress's Birthday
2. The Expulsion
3. The Northern Mansion
4. Back at Home
Temple of Prosperity
1. Eunuch Sanctuary
2. Myriad Fates of Eunuchs164
3. White-Cloud Temple
4. Tales about Cixi
House Servant
1. Xiaode Zhang
2. Yao Mengshan
3. Prodigal Sons
Manchukuo
1. "New Capital"
2. Team of Orderlies
3. Puppet Emperor
4. Visitors to the Palace
5. A Brutal Beating
6. Back at Home
Some Turbulent Years
1. An Amicable Japanese227
2. Zha Qi'er.232
3. Silver Fish and Purple Crabs237
4. Death of Chen Zechuan242
Communist Takeover
1. Temple of Great Bounty:245
2. Lord Guan's Temple249
3. People's Liberation Army254
4. "Big Landlord".259
After Liberation
1. An Investigation and a Lawsuit261
2, The Fate of Xiaode Zhang264
3. Back in the Temple of Prosperity266
4. Quarrels and Fights271
Life in the New Society
1. Narrow Escape276
2. A Forum of Eunuchs277
3. The Great Turbulence280
4. Homecoming in Disgrace285
The Final Years
1. The Last Eunuch of China291
2. Revisiting the Forbidden City.297
3. Peaceful Old Age299
4. Secrets to Longevity.303
Gravestone in Silence
The Last Eunuch of China-The Life of Sun Yaoting
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