Donald Shively

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Donald Shively
Donald Shively UCBerkeley.jpg
Donald Shively
Born (1921-05-11)May 11, 1921
Kyoto, Japan
Died August 23, 2005(2005-08-23) (aged 84)
Nationality United States
Occupation Japanologist

Donald Howard Shively (May 11, 1921 – August 23, 2005) was an American academic, historian, Japanologist, author and professor emeritus of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Berkeley.[1] He was a leader of Japan studies in the United States.

Early life[edit]

Shively was the son of American missionaries in Japan. He was born in Kyoto and educated at the Canadian Academy in Japan.[2]

Years of study in the United States began when he entered Harvard in 1940, but his college years were interrupted by war. In World War II, Shively was a Japanese language officer. He was promoted to the rank of major in the United States Marine Corps, and his service was marked by the Bronze Star Medal.[2]

Shively received his bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1946 (Class of '44). He continued his studies in Cambridge, and he earned a master's degree in 1947. He was awarded a Ph.D. in 1951.[1]


Shively began his teaching career at the University of California, Berkeley. He was at Berkeley from 1950 to 1962. During this period, he edited the Journal of Asian Studies (1955–1959).[2]

From 1962 through 1964, he joined the faculty of Stanford. He then moved east to return to Harvard as a member of the faculty from 1964 to 1983.[1] He was Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies from 1981 through 1983,[3] and also editor of the Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies from 1975 to 1983.[2]

In 1983, Shively returned to teach at Berkeley. He was also the head of the university's East Asian library until he retired in 1992.[1] Dr. Shively died of Shy–Drager syndrome at the age of 84 in Oakland, California.

Selected works[edit]

Most notable among his works covering popular culture in the Edo period of Japan is the translation of The Love Suicides at Amijima, a famous kabuki play written by Chikamatsu Monzaemon.

In a statistical overview derived from writings by and about Donald Shively, OCLC/WorldCat encompasses roughly 40+ works in 90+ publications in 3 languages and 3,000+ library holdings.[4]

  • The Love Suicide at Amijima: a study of a Japanese Domestic Tragedy by Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1953)
  • Personality in Japanese History (1970) with Albert Craig
  • Tradition and Modernization in Japanese Culture (1971)
  • The Cambridge History of Japan, Vol. 2, Heian Japan (1999)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Fox, Margalit. "Donald H. Shively, 84, Leader in Japanese Studies in the U.S., Dies," New York Times. August 24, 2005.
  2. ^ a b c d e Maclay, Kathleen. "Professor emeritus Donald Shively, expert on Japanese life and cultures, dies," UCBerkeley News. August 17, 2005.
  3. ^ Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies (RIJS), Director, 1981-1983
  4. ^ WorldCat Identities Archived December 30, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.: Shively, Donald H. (Donald Howard) 1921-

Further reading[edit]