Jacques Pimpaneau studied Chinese at INALCO, then at Peking University from 1958 to 1960, at the time of the People’s Communities, the Great Leap Forward and the break with the USSR. He was then a researcher at Oxford University from 1963 to 1965 and a professor at INALCO from 1965 to 1999, with an interruption from 1968 to 1971, when he was sent to teach at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Before leaving for Hong Kong, he also taught in the ethnology department of the University of Nanterre. He taught mainly classical Chinese and literature and is considered a specialist in classical theatre, including shadow and puppet theatre, which he learned to perform. In 1971 he created the Kwok On Museum in Paris on Asian folk cultures from Turkey to Japan. These collections are now in the Oriental Museum of the Fundaçao Oriente in Lisbon.
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