GULIK, Robert Hans van. Zutphen 9.8.1910 — the Hague 24.9.1967. Dutch Sinologist, Diplomat and Author, started as an Indologist. Son of a physician serving in colonial army, spent the years 1914-23 in Java. Studies of law, Sanskrit and Chinese at Utrecht (Gonda & Ferguson) and Leiden. Ph.D. Utrecht 1935 on the influence of Indian mythology in East Asia. Joined the foreign service, served 1935-42 in Tokyo, 1942 in New Delhi, 1943-46 in Chongqing, 1946-48 in Washington, 1948-51 in Tokyo, 1952-53 in New Delhi, 1956-59 in Beirut, 1959-62 in Kuala Lumpur, and finally 1965-67 as Dutch Ambassador in Tokyo. In 1967 he was appointed Professor of Far Eastern Cultural History at Utrecht, but died soon. In Chongqing 1943 married Shui Shifang, four children.
RvG was mainly a Sinologist, interested in Indian influence and in Chinese scholarly traditions. He was himself skilled calligrapher and played well Chinese lute. From the real historical model and from the Chinese literary tradition he created the figure of Judge Dee and wrote several detective stories on him.
Publications: diss. Hayagrīva. The Mantrayāna Aspect of Horse-cult in China and Japan. 8+105 p. 14 fig. Intern. Archiv f. Ethnogr. 33. Leiden 1935.
– transl. Urvaçī, een oud-indisch tooneelstuk van Kālidāsa. 1832.
– Mi Fu on ink-stones. 1938; Hsi K’ang and his poetical essay on the lute. 1941; The Lore of the Chinese Lute. 1940; Dee Goong An. Criminal cases solved by Judge Dee. 1949; T’ang-yin-pi-shih. Parallel cases from under the Pear-tree. 1956; Erotic colour prints of the Ming period, with an essay on Chinese sex life from Han to the Ch’in dynasty. 1951.
– Siddham. An essay on the history of Sanskrit studies in China and Japan. 234 p. Śata-Piṭaka S. 247. Nagpur 1956.
– Chinese pictorial art as viewed by the connoisseur. S.O.R. 1958; Scrap-book for Chinese collectors. 1958; Sexual life in Ancient China. A preliminary survey of Chinese sex and society from ca. 1500 B.C. till 1644 A.D. 392 p. ill. Leiden 1961; The Gibbon in China. An Essay in animal lore. 1967.
– a series of famous detective stories on Judge Dee.
Sources: “een bescheiden onderkomen” 1981, 165; *P. Jaquillard, “Le sinologue et ses gibbons”, As.St./Ét.as. 25, 1971, 506-510; Öhrnberg, Kiina sanoin ja kuvin 1982:5-6, 2-5; Wikipedia with two photos.
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