In Memoriam
Léon Vandermeersch

7 January 1928 – 17 October 2021
On 17 October 2021, Léon Vandermeersch, one of France’s most renown sinologists, passed away. Léon Vandermeersch started his career in Vietnam as secondary school teacher and later as curator of the Louis Finot Museum from 1951 to 1958. After appointments in Kyoto and Hong Kong, he obtained his PhD from the École Pratique des Hautes Études in 1975 with a study of Chinese classical institutions. He became professor at the Université Paris-VII, and, since 1993, he was professor at the École Pratique des Hautes Études until his retirement in 1993. He was also director of the Maison franco-japonaise in Tokyo (1981–1984) and director of the École française d’Extrême-Orient (1989–1993). Among his most well-known works are
Wangdao: ou, La voie royale : recherches sur l’esprit des institutions de la Chine archaïque (Publications de l’École française d’Extrême-Orrient, Vol.1 1977; Vol.2 1980), Études sinologiques (PUF, 1994), Les deux raisons de la pensée chinoise, Divination et idéographie (Gallimard, 2013), and Ce que la Chine nous apprend. Sur le langage, la société, l’existence (Gallimard, 2019). Léon Vandermeersch was member of the ‘Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres’, ‘Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur’, and ‘Officier de l’ordre des Palmes académiques’.