Pujie was the second son of Zaifeng and his wife Youlan. As a child, he was brought to the Forbidden City inBeijing to be a playmate and classmate to his brother Puyi. A well-known incident recounted how the young Puyi threw a tantrum when he saw that the inner lining of one of Pujie’s coats was yellow in colour, as yellow was traditionally a colour reserved only for the Emperor.
In 1929, Pujie was sent to Japan for studies. He graduated from the Gakushuin Peers’ School and became fluent in the Japanese language. He then went on to the Imperial Japanese Army Academy, graduating in July 1935.
Pujie was first married in 1924 to a Manchu princess, Tángshíxiá (唐石霞), but they had no issue. He left his wife behind when he went to Japan for studies, and the marriage was dissolved some years later. After graduation from the Imperial Japanese Army Academy, Pujie agreed to an arranged marriage with a Japanese noblewoman. Pujie selected Lady Hiro Saga (1914–1987), who was a relative of the Japanese Imperial Family, from a photograph from a number of possible candidates vetted by the Kwantung Army. As his brother Puyi was without a direct heir, the wedding had strong political implications, and was aimed at both fortifying relations between the two nations and introducing Japanese blood into the Manchu imperial family.
The engagement ceremony took place at the Embassy of Manchukuo in Tokyo on 2 February 1937 with the official wedding held in the Imperial Army Hall at Kudanzaka, Tokyo, on 3 April. In October, the couple moved to Hsinking, the capital of Manchukuo, where Puyi was then the Emperor.