Faubion Bowers, an expert on Kabuki theatre in Japan, died Nov. 16 in Manhattan, The New York Times reported.
Mr. Bowers, who was 82, is credited with preserving the art of Kabuki theatre during his time serving as a military aid in occupied Japan, after World War II. The Times reported that Mr. Bowers regarded himself both a censor and sponsor of Japanese theatre in 1944-49, when he was official theatre censor of the occupation government. He was Gen. Douglas MacArthur's military secretary, aide-de-camp and interpreter, 1946-48.
The all-male Kabuki tradition dates to the 17th century (although some elements go back centuries before that) and presents stories and myths with stylized dance, ornate costumes and music from a group hidden behind a lattice screen. It is considered a popular form as opposed to the aristocratic No form.
Mr. Bowers is author of "Japanese Theater," "Dance in India," "Theater in the East" and "Broadway USSR."
He recently provided simultaneous translations for Japanese language plays, including the musical, Gen, about the bombing of Hiroshima, performed at the Kaye Playhouse in New York City in January 1999. -- By Kenneth Jones