American sinologist William Theodore de Bary has requested that his Chinese name be corrected from ??? to ???, saying that the former has been used inaccurately for more than 30 years.
De Bary, who was named the winner of the 2016 Tang Prize in Sinology in June for his pioneering contributions in Confucian studies, made the request recently to the organizers of the award.
He told the Tang Prize Foundation through a friend that the name ??? was given to him by the late Chinese historian and philosopher Chien Mu (??), whom he met at the now-defunct Yenching University in Beijing during a visit there decades ago as a student.
The 97-year-old sinologist said Chien, who was teaching at the university at that time, gave him the name ??? because it sounded close to “de Bary” in Chinese.
According to Tang Prize Foundation CEO Chern Jenn-chuan (???), the name ??? was probably first used inaccurately by Hong Kong’s New Asia College during the publication of de Bary’s work in the 1980s, and it has since been used among Chinese communities around the world.
Chern said his foundation has corrected de Barry’s Chinese name on its Website and hopes that the media and Chinese communities worldwide will also refer to de Barry as ??? in the future.
De Bary is recognized as a pioneering scholar in the field of Confucian intellectual history. In recent years, he has turned his focus to a comparative study of Western and Eastern civilizations and their areas of compatibility.
Because of his age and health, he will not attend the Tang Prize Award ceremony later this month in Taipei. Instead, his daughter, who is very familiar with his work, will represent him at the event.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel