The Japan Society Review
The Japan Society Review is published on a bimonthly basis, both online and printed (members are entitled to receive a copy by post). Since the starting of the publication in 2006, each issue covers a selection of Japan-related books and films, as well as theatre and stage productions, tv series and exhibitions. Its purpose is to inform, entertain and encourage readers to explore the works for themselves.
The Japan Society Review is possible thanks to the work of volunteers who dedicated their time and expertise to help us to promote the learning and understanding of Japanese culture and society.
BooksKimono Couture: The Beauty of Chiso
By Vivian Li and Christine Starkman The catalogue of the exhibition 'Kimono Couture: The Beauty of Chiso' at the Worcester Art Museum focuses on the crafting practices behind kimono, telling the history of kimono from the view of one of Japan’s oldest kimono houses still existing today. Review by Carolin Becke
BooksThe Japan Affair
By David Howell Lord Howell of Guildford is a long-serving Conservative government minister who, since 1985, has been writing regularly for The Japan Times. This volume contains an edited collection of his columns with some interspersed comments to provide continuity and context. Review by Peter Kornicki
By Brad Glosserman In Peak Japan, Brad Glosserman explains his view on why Japan has not and will not change, concluding that Japanese horizons are shrinking and that the Japanese public has given up the bold ambitions of previous generations and its current leadership. Review by Duncan Bartlett
BooksStranger in the Shogun’s City
By Amy Stanley A deeply researched work of history that explores the life of an unconventional woman during the first half of the 19th century in Edo (Tokyo) and a portrait of a great city on the brink of the encounter with the West. Review by Laurence Green
Issues (PDF)Issue 86 (April 2020, Volume 15, Number 2)
This issue of The Japan Society Review hopes to bring some of that beauty also into your homes featuring the review and some astonishing images of the exhibition Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk opened at the Victorian & Albert Museum in London last February.
BooksWhere the Wild Ladies Are
By Matsuda Aoko Witty, inventive, and profound, Where the Wild Ladies Are by Matsuda Aoko is considered a contemporary feminist retelling of traditional ghost stories by one of Japan’s most exciting writers. Review by Charlotte Goff
BooksThe Aosawa Murders
By Onda Riku The first novel by prolific and award-winning author Onda Riku to be published in English is prefaced by a transcript of a police interview with Hisako Aosawa, the sole survivor of a mass murder that has claimed the rest of her family. Review by Jill Dobson
BooksThe Swords of Silence
By Shaun Curry Based on the real-life incidence of systematic persecution of Christians in 17th century Japan by the Tokugawa Shogunate, the story of The Swords of Silence takes as its focus Father Joaquim Martinez, a Portuguese priest [...] Review by Laurence Green
BooksThe Last Paper Crane
By Kerry Drewery Told through an interweaving of haiku, free verse and standard prose, The Last Paper Crane delights in flitting between mediums in an attempt to convey the essence of the Hiroshima story beyond the simple historical facts. Review by Laurence Green
EventsExhibition - Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk
A major new exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum celebrates the kimono’s elegant history. It also displays its dynamic renaissance, through works by modern designers, such Alexander McQueen, John Gallianio and Rei Kawakubo. Review by Duncan Bartlett