CHINA: Ruin's End

When Japan added Jehol Province to its Manchurian grab in 1932, it got one splendid old ruin with its haul—the 17th Century hunting lodge of the old Manchu Emperors of China, spread over the hills outside Jehol City. By last week it was still overgrown with weeds but Japan planned to make it fresh and new to remind Manchukuans of the ancestral glories of their puppet Emperor Kang Teh (Pu Yi).

Like all Chinese "palaces," it was a maze of sprawling, verandahed, one-story buildings built around open courtyards and roofed with tile of imperial yellow. The...