Faubion Bowers : フォービアン・バワーズ

Faubion Bowers (29 January 1917 – 17 November 1999) was a noted academic and writer in the area of Asian Studies, especially Japanese theatre. He also wrote the first full-length biography of Russian composer Alexander Scriabin. During the Allied Occupation of Japan, he was General Douglas MacArthur‘s personal Japanese language interpreter and aide-de-camp.


Bowers was born in Miami, Oklahoma. He graduated from Columbia University in 1935 and the Juilliard Graduate School of Music in 1939. Bowers taught at Hosei University in Tokyo from 1940 to 1941.

After the surrender of Japan, he was the interpreter for the advance party of 150 US personnel which flew into the Atsugi airfield on 28 August 1945. As MacArthur‘s interpreter he lived at the American Embassy with the MacArthur family, and served as interpreter at the initial meeting between MacArthur and Emperor Hirohito. While an official censor for Japanese theater he became its champion.

After the war he taught at the New School for Social Research, and at Kansas University as Distinguished Professor of Asian Studies. He also served as music editor or reviewer for various periodicals.

Bowers became a respected authority on oriental art and culture, writing scholarly monographs on such subjects as Indian dance and Japanese theatre, as well as a definitive two-volume biography of the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin. His book, Japanese Theatre, was published in 1952 and is highly recommended by James Michener, in his book on Japanese ukiyo-e prints, The Floating World, as “one of the foremost works of scholarship dealing with Japanese culture to come out of the occupation.”

He was married from 1951–1966 to Indian writer Santha Rama Rau. They had one son who, according to his parents, traveled widely and lived an affluent vagabond existence.

Bowers was interviewed for Columbia University’s Oral History Project in 1960. He wrote the first full-length biography of Russian composer Alexander Scriabin (1872–1915) in two volumes (1970, 2nd edition 1996) and was a member of the Bagby Foundation for the Musical Arts in New York City. He died in New York City on 17 November 1999.


Bowers is known as The Man Who Saved Kabuki in Japan. While on his way to Indonesia in 1940, he visited Tokyo’s Kabuki-za where he watched the famous Kanadehon Chūshingura kabuki play, and was very moved by kabuki as an art form. Four years later he returned to Japan as General MacArthur‘s secretary during the American Occupation of Japan. At this time the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers thought kabuki should be banned for its portrayal of feudal values. Bowers was strongly against this, stating that “Kabuki is not only Japanese culture but world culture and must be preserved for the future.” He promoted kabuki plays and instructed that a “Dream Team” cast of big kabuki stars should be assembled to perform “Kanadehon Chūshingura” in 1947. This performance and many others performed at the Tokyo Army College were a success, and the cast later performed the play in 1950 in East Coast venues across the US.


Bowers was awarded the Bronze Star in 1944, and an Oak Leaf Cluster in 1945.

In 1985, Bowers was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure by the government of Japan.


  • Bowers, Faubion (1952). Japanese theatre. New York: Hermitage House.
  • Bowers, Faubion (1953). The Dance In India. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Bowers, Faubion (1954a). Japanese Theatre: Origin – Noh Drama – Puppets – Kabuki Spectacle. New York: Hermitage House.
  • Bowers, Faubion; et. al, eds. (1954b). “Perspective of Japan: An Atlantic Monthly Supplement”. New York: International Publishers.
  • Bowers, Faubion (1956). Theatre in the East (reprint ed.). Ayer Co. Publishing. ISBN 0-8369-9278-4.
  • Bowers, Faubion (1959). Broadway USSR: Ballet, Theatre, and Entertainment in Russia Today. Thomas Nelson and Sons.
  • Mishima, Yukio; Keene, Donald; Bowers, Faubion (1960). Kabuki. New York: Program Publishing Co.
  • Champdor, Albert; Bowers, Faubion (trans.) (1966). The Book Of The Dead: Based on the Ani, Hunefer, and Anhai Papyri in the British Museum. New York: Garrett Publications.
  • Bowers, Faubion; Fieger, Erwin (1972). Japan:Islands of the Rising Sun. New York: H. N. Abrams. ISBN 0-8109-0208-7.
  • Bowers, Faubion (1974). The New Scriabin: Enigma and Answers. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 978-0-7153-6578-6.
  • Sarabhai, Mrinalini; Mitchell, John D.; Bowers, Faubion (1992). Staging a Sanskrit Classic: Bhasa’s Vision of Vasavadatta. New York: Fordham University Press. ISBN 978-1-882763-02-3.
  • Iyengar, K.R. Srinivasa; Meserve, Walter J.; Meserve, Ruth L.; Bowers, Faubion (1995). Appreciations of Asif Currimbhoy. Calcutta: Writers’ Workshop. ISBN 81-7189-299-X.
  • Bowers, Faubion (1996). Scriabin, a Biography (2nd, revised ed.). New York: Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0-486-28897-0. (1st pub. 1970)
  • Bowers, Faubion (1996). The Classic Tradition of Haiku: An Anthology. Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-29274-6.

フォービアン・バワーズ(1917年1月29日 – 1999年11月20日)はアメリカ合衆国の音楽家、軍人。「歌舞伎を救った男」と呼ばれてきたが、2000年代になってからそれを否定する研究が発表されている。



1945年に太平洋戦争が終わり、日本がGHQの占領下に置かれると、バワーズはマッカーサーの副官(少佐)兼通訳として再来日した。当時のGHQは日本の軍国主義の原因は「フューダル・ロイヤルティ」(feudal loyalty; 封建的忠誠心)にあるとして、日本の伝統文化に対しては極めて否定的な政策を取ろうとした。「歌舞伎」は「封建的忠誠心」を賛美するものであり、「軍国主義」を助長してきたとして、GHQはそれを廃しようとした。それに対しバワーズは反発。「歌舞伎は日本の文化のみならず世界の文化」と主張し、降格ともいえる歌舞伎担当官に就く。バワーズはGHQの幹部に歌舞伎を見せただけでなく、歌舞伎の公演の再開を主張。1947年(昭和22年)に『仮名手本忠臣蔵』が上演された。このとき、バワーズは出演者に「当時最高のもの」を希望し、公演を成功させた。さらにサンフランシスコ講和条約締結の年にはアメリカ公演を挙行、そのときには「切腹のない判官は歌舞伎ではない」と「ハラキリの演出」に待ったをかけた国務省を一蹴し、完全な『仮名手本忠臣蔵』の上演にこぎつけた。




以上の話にはバワーズ自身の誇張や思い違いが多く、バワーズの上司であったアール・アーンスト(Earle Ernst)らの功績を歪曲していたことが、2000年代に発表された日米の研究(参考文献:Brandon、浜野)で明らかになっている。実際には、歌舞伎班はアーンストを長に8人編成の部隊であり、検閲作業に関しては全員で当たっていた。自分だけが「歌舞伎の救世主」であると自ら喧伝し、アーンストら他の人員はナチのようにふるまっていたと嘘を連ねるパワーズに対して、アーンストは「法的手段を講じることも辞さない」と怒りをあらわにしたうえで、「彼のエゴイズムよりも、歴史の事実が曲げられることを懸念する」と書いている。マッカーサーの副官という触れ込みも嘘で、本当はボナー・フェラーズ准将の部下(通訳)で、正しい肩書きは「総司令官付軍事秘書官(Military Secretary)」である。1960年に行われた本格的なアメリカでの歌舞伎上演、いわゆる渡米歌舞伎に際して、市川猿之助 (2代)を降ろすように迫って配役にまで口出しし、松竹と対立している。河原崎国太郎は次のように自伝に書いている。「この人(バワーズ)を歌舞伎再生の恩人だと、一部の知識人が口にしますが、わたしは、とんでもないと思っています。自分に対して頭をさげてくる役者を、ひいきのような扱いをしたりしました。」

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