Tan Yuling

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Tan Yuling, Noble Consort Mingxian (born Tatara Yuling; 11 August 1920 – 14 August 1942), was a concubine of China's last emperor Puyi. She married Puyi when the latter was the nominal emperor of the puppet state of Manchukuo during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Her given name "Yuling" is sometimes transliterated into English as "Jade Years".

Tan Yuling
Noble Consort Mingxian
Tan Yuling
Born(1920-08-11)11 August 1920
Beijing, Republic of China
Died14 August 1942(1942-08-14) (aged 22)
Hsinking, Manchukuo
Puyi (m. 1937⁠–⁠1942)
Full name
Tatara Yuling
Posthumous name
Noble Consort Mingxian
HouseTatara (by birth)
Aisin Gioro (by marriage)
FatherTatara Naerbu
MotherLady Lee


Yuling was born to the prosperous Tatara clan in Beijing. Her father, Naerbu was a high ranking warlord who controlled the area around Beijing and Tianjin, and her mother, Lady Lee, was a high-ranking Korean courtesan from Hamhung. Yuling's two aunts were in the Guangxu Emperor's harem as Consort Jin and Consort Jin. Even after the Qing Dynasty fell, the Tatara clan continued to be very prosperous, but they changed their names to Tan, to avoid being discriminated for their Manchu ethnicity.

Imperial Concubine Tan Yulin, 1937

In early 1937 when Tan was still attending a middle school in Beijing, she was chosen to be a wife of Puyi and she travelled to Manchukuo's capital Hsinking (Changchun). On 6 April she married Puyi in the Hsinking palace and was given the title of Imperial Concubine Xiang. She became very close to Puyi after their marriage and in time, she became Noble Consort Xiang and became the manager of the Imperial Harem, as Empress Xiaokemin was not in favour anymore. Yuling reviled the Japanese.

Tan died in 1942 while being treated for cystitis, in less than a day after her Japanese doctor gave her an injection. The circumstances surrounding her death were suspicious because Tan was said to have resented the Japanese for being controlling over Puyi. Kwantung Army staff officer Yoshioka Yasunori (吉岡安則), who was an attaché to the Manchukuo imperial household, once urged Puyi to take a Japanese bride but Puyi had already married Tan so he ignored Yoshioka. Yoshioka was said to be unhappy about this. Following Tan's death, Puyi was again pressed by Yoshioka to choose a Japanese spouse but he refused.[1]

Puyi granted Tan the posthumous title of Noble Consort Mingxian (明賢貴妃) and held a funeral for her in Banruo Temple (般若寺) in Hsinking. After the fall of Manchukuo in 1945 following the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II, Puyi ordered Tan's remains to be cremated and the ashes sent to her relatives in Beijing. Puyi was said that he loved her so much and he has kept a photograph of Tan with him until his death in 1967.

Gallery of Changchun House, Tan Yuling's former residenceEdit


  1. ^ Emperor Xuantong Archived 2007-11-16 at the Wayback Machine GoChinaTravel.com


  • Behr, Edward (1977). The Last Emperor. Bantam. ISBN 0-553-34474-9.
  • Puyi, Edward; Paul Kramer (1967). the Last Manchu; the Autobiography of Henry Pu Yi, Last Emperor of China. Putnam. ASIN: B000NRUCZ8.

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