Donald H. Shively, 84, an authority on Japanese popular culture, died Aug. 13 from complications of Shy-Drager syndrome at a nursing facility near his home in Berkeley, according to an announcement from UC Berkeley, where he held faculty positions from 1950 to 1962 and again from 1983 until his retirement in 1992.
Shively, who also taught at Stanford and Harvard, was known for his work on kabuki drama and his analyses of the Tokugawa period (1630-1868). According to UC Berkeley, much of his work explored the subversion of shogunal law by writers and a rising bourgeoisie.
Shively was born in Kyoto, Japan, the son of American missionaries, and got his bachelor's, master's and PhD degrees from Harvard. During World War II, he was a Japanese language officer in the Marine Corps, rising to the rank of major.