This post is the first in a series featuring interviews from the Marlene Mayo Oral Histories. Currently, 29 of the oral history transcripts are available online. The remainder are available onsite in the Prange Collection.
On July 22, 1982, Professor Marlene Mayo interviewed Faubion Bowers (January 29, 1917 – November 17, 1999) in the Bird Room at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Bowers was interpreter for and Military Secretary to General MacArthur during the Occupation of Japan. He is perhaps most well-known for later serving as the censor for GHQ who lifted the ban on Kabuki. In the interview, he discussed, among other things, his early life and education, his introduction to Kabuki, his language training at the Presidio and at Camp Savage, his service in Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines, his participation in the advance landing at Atsugi airfield on August 28, 1945, his role in preparing the American Embassy for MacArthur, his knowledge of MacArthur’s meeting with the Emperor on September 26, 1945, and his role as a censor.
The interview also includes his frank impressions of Kai Rasmussen, Sidney Mashbir, John Dickey, John Aiso, John Anderton, John Shelton, Charles Tench, George Atcheson, Jr., Earl Ernst, and Douglas MacArthur.