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Master of Chinese culture Jao dies

Writer:   | Editor: Lily A  | From:  | Updated: 2018-02-07

JAO TSUNG-I, a master of Chinese culture, passed away in Hong Kong yesterday. He was 101.

He was born in Chaozhou, Guangdong on Aug. 9, 1917, and arrived in Hong Kong in 1949.

As a historian, archaeologist, educator and a master painter, Jao was well-known for his excellence and achievements in humanities and arts.

His research covered various fields of Chinese culture, including history, paleography, the Dunhuang Grottoes, archeology, literature, musicology, and oracle bone inscriptions.

Jao was the first scholar to render the Babylonian epic “Enuma Elish” into Chinese and also the first person to make a comparative study of the oracle bone script and the Indus script.

“Professor Jao can speak six foreign languages and multiple dialects. He acts like a cultural bridge connecting China and the West, with most of his foreign students now being the top sinologists in the world,” Phoenix TV’s top talk show host Dou Wentao said of Jao in 2015.

Jao was born to a wealthy family in Guangdong and grew up in a home that boasted more than 100,000 books.