The Japan Society
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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.

Yosuga

Theatre & Stage

Yosuga

By Kaneko Ayano Yosuga is the 6th full-length album from Kaneko Ayano, one of Japan’s best kept musical secrets. Since 2014, Kaneko has released a body of work which charts her considerable progress as a musician. Review by Cameron Bassindale

Herbert Ponting: Scott’s Antarctic Photographer and Pioneer Filmmaker

Books

Herbert Ponting: Scott’s Antarctic Photographer and Pioneer Filmmaker

By Anne Strathie Herbert Ponting, the photographer on Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole (1910 to 1913), is the fascinating subject of Anne Strathie’s latest book, which also includes an account of his visits, photographs and relations to Meiji Japan. Review by Susan Meehan

Ever Forward

Books

Ever Forward

By Claire Thom Ever Forward is a delightful collection of haiku poetry and watercolours dedicated to different animals. Any profit made from book sales will be given as a donation to the Guide Dogs charity in the UK. Review by Mary Ann Burrows

Grave of the Fireflies (BFI Film Classics)

Books

Grave of the Fireflies (BFI Film Classics)

By Alex Dudok de Wit In the first book-length study in English of Studio’s Ghibli’s 'Grave of the Fireflies', Alex Dudok de Wit explores its themes, visual devices and groundbreaking use of animation, as well as the political context in which it was made. Review by Laurence Green

Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan

Films & Series

Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan

Directed by Stephen Scott for Netflix A six-part Netflix historical documentary series, Age of Samurai retells the final decades of the Sengoku Jidai, a 150-year period of near continuous civil war, examining the reunification of Japan through the rise of three figures: Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu. Review by Riyoko Shibe

Issue 92 (April 2021, Volume 16, Number 2)

Issues (PDF)

Issue 92 (April 2021, Volume 16, Number 2)

With five reviews covering a wide range of topics and styles, from an academic monograph to memoirs, fiction, and an art book, the April issue of The Japan Society Review offers an excellent example of the rich variety of Japan-related publications regularly arriving in the UK.

Beyond Zen: Japanese Buddhism Revealed

Books

Beyond Zen: Japanese Buddhism Revealed

Edited by Katherine Anne Paul with contributions by Katherine Anne Paul & Ikumi Kaminishi A fascinating and long-overdue visual history of Japanese Buddhist art largely dating from the Edo period (1600–1868) to the present day, through one of the USA’s finest collections. Review by Timon Screech

Handmade in Japan

Books

Handmade in Japan

By Irwin Wong Handmade in Japan takes a look inside the workshops of the country's artisans, revealing their endless pursuit of excellence, and what it means to dedicate one's life to the stewardship of irreplaceable cultural heritage. Review by David Tonge

Towards Japan: A personal journey

Books

Towards Japan: A personal journey

By J. Arthur Stockwin Distinguished author and former Professor of Modern Japanese Studies at Oxford, Arthur Stockwin here explores his personal journey from being the son of medical/dental parents in Birmingham, England, to becoming a specialist in the politics and modern history of Japan. Review by William Horsley

An I-Novel

Books

An I-Novel

By Mizumura Minae Negotiating ideas of nationhood and belonging, encompassing both language and identity, Mizumura Minae’s 'An I-Novel' offers a semi-autobiographical piece of extraordinary writing about the Japanese-American experience in the 1980s. Review by Laurence Green