In memoriam: Daniel Bryant


Daniel Bryant, Professor Emeritus of Chinese Studies in the Department of Pacific and Asian Studies at the University of Victoria, passed away Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, with his wife Yixi Zhang at his bedside. He was 72 years old. Daniel taught at UVic for 32 years before his retirement in 2008.

He came to what was then the Department of Slavonic and Oriental Studies, which became the Centre for Pacific and Oriental Studies, and subsequently the current department, of which he was the first chair.

Following the study of music at Berkeley, Daniel came to Canada, studying first at McGill, and completing his BA in Chinese and a PhD in classical Chinese poetry at UBC, where he was a student of Professor Yeh Chia-ying. As a graduate student, he also lived in Kyoto, and spoke Japanese as well as Chinese.

Daniel was a well-published scholar of Chinese poetry. His final book, the monumental (750 page) The Great Recreation: Ho Ching-ming (1483-1521) and his World, published by Brill in 2008, was the crowning achievement of a distinguished academic career. He also translated from Chinese, both classical poetry and modern fiction, with precision and elegance.

At the undergraduate level, he taught principally the modern and classical Chinese languages; he also directed graduate students in his field. He remained active in his scholarly field and involved with the University after his retirement, and was an admired and respected member of the department. In addition to his scholarly pursuits, Daniel had a wide range of interests: the medieval world, classical music, bird-watching, and gardening were among his passions.

Daniel was a man of firmly-held beliefs and opinions, and was rigorous and punctilious as a scholar, teacher, and academic administrator. He fancied himself a contrarian, but was really too good-natured to sustain it for long.

He was supportive to colleagues and students alike, and will be remembered for his keen intellect, his high standards, and his warm heart. He will be missed. A memorial service for Daniel will be held at the UVic Interfaith Chapel on October 17, from 4 pm, followed by a reception at the University Club. RSVP Alice Lee at

—Submitted by Richard King


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