The Last Emperor Of China Was A Big Fan Of Prank Calls

Laura Heggs | July 26th, 2018

In 1921, the last emperor of China known as Puyi ordered for a phone to be installed in his in his palace for his personal use only. At the time he was just fifteen years old and had heard about phones from his tutors.

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Puyi, however, had no contact with the outside world officially, and his advisors thought that giving him a phone would give him too much independence. They tried to convince him not to get a phone installed, even going as far as advising him it would be too much of a break with traditions.

The title of Emperor in China came with many traditions and cultural aspects that had to be followed, in fact, he was to be seen more as like a god to his people. In practice, not every Emperor that rules China actually had supreme power, however, usually, it was the case. Historians tend to class different periods of Chinese history into dynasties, which means the title of Emperor stayed within the same family. Puyi was the final emperor and he was part of the Qing dynasty. He actually lost his title in 1912, when the Empire was abolished.

After this point he only held a symbolic leader title and lived in the imperial palace, confined in the palace since a very young age. His advisors were actually scared of what would happen if he had interaction with people outside of the palace.

They should not have worried much though, at fifteen years of age, Puyi was just a teenage boy trying to have fun! He proceeded to make prank calls to locals in Beijing, famous opera singers were a target of his. Puyi would ring them and then just giggle, quickly hanging up. Another joke of his would be to order large meals, sending them to random addresses.

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