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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.

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

There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job

Books

There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job

By Tsumura Kikuko Although first published in Japan in 2016, There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job is apt for our current times, in which we are all working from home and the boundaries of the professional and the domestic feel more liminal than ever. Review by Beau Waycott

The Decagon House Murders

Books

The Decagon House Murders

By Ayatsuji Yukito Despite revitalizing the classic murder mystery genre in Japan, The Decagon House Murders is the first of Ayatsuji Yukito’s works to be translated into English. This is surprising considering how steeped the novel is in the Western “whodunit” tradition. And yet, the world Ayatsuji crafts is also distinctly Japanese. Review by Cameron Bassindale

Things Remembered And Things Forgotten

Books

Things Remembered And Things Forgotten

By Nakajima Kyoko Forced to deliver their emotional payload within a compact format, time and again Nakajima lulls us into a sense of comforting security, only to pull a killer twist on us. What we think we know is always only half the story. Review by Laurence Green

Exhibition - The Kimono in Print: 300 Years of Japanese Design

Events

Exhibition - The Kimono in Print: 300 Years of Japanese Design

This exhibition focuses primarily on how kimonos reflected major socio-economic shifts in the Edo period (1603-1868), a time which witnessed a rapidly changing consumerist culture in Japan. Review by Fiona Collins

Eating Wild Japan: Tracking the Culture of Foraged Foods, with a Guide to Plants and Recipes

Books

Eating Wild Japan: Tracking the Culture of Foraged Foods, with a Guide to Plants and Recipes

By Winifred Bird In this book, journalist Winifred Bird eats her way from one end of the country to the other in search of the hidden stories of Japan's wild foods, the people who pick them, and the places whose histories they've shaped. Review by Katie Croft

Tokyo Junkie: 60 Years of Bright Lights and Back Alleys... and Baseball

Books

Tokyo Junkie: 60 Years of Bright Lights and Back Alleys... and Baseball

By Robert Whiting As journalist and author who has lived in Tokyo on and off for more than fifty years, Robert Whiting looks back over that vast spread of years comes in the form of a fascinating memoir, interweaving his personal narrative into the unfolding backdrop of Japan’s own great journey through time. Review by Laurence Green

Arbiters of Patriotism: Right-Wing Scholars in Imperial Japan

Books

Arbiters of Patriotism: Right-Wing Scholars in Imperial Japan

By John D. Person In this book, John D. Person explores the lives of two of the most notorious right-wing intellectuals responsible for leading such attacks in prewar and wartime Japan: Minoda Muneki (1894-1946) and Mitsui Koshi (1883-1953) of the Genri Nippon (Japan Principle) Society. Review by Francesco Cioffo

Issue 91 (February 2021, Volume 16, Number 1)

Issues (PDF)

Issue 91 (February 2021, Volume 16, Number 1)

A new year has begun, and with this issue of The Japan Society Review in February 2021 we start the 16th year of our publication. We hope so far our readers have enjoyed discovering new books, films and events and learning about Japan. None of this would have been possible without our fantastic reviewers so we want to open this issue with a big thank you to all of them for their help.