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.

Switched

Films & Series

Switched

Directed by Matsuyama Hiroaki If you haven’t already heard of Netflix’s latest obsession, Japanese drama Switched, you will probably not be prepared for the exhilarating, beautiful and horrifying ride you are about to embark, thanks to [...] Review by Severah Noureen Akhtar

Flight Paths

Theatre & Stage

Flight Paths

Co-directed by Maria Oshodi & Kumiko Mendl, written by Glen Neath Flight Paths brings together two pioneering theatre companies, Extant and Yellow Earth Theatre. Amelia and Sarah step onto the set, a flight departure lounge. Have they arrived from Japan? They seem to [...] Review by Susan Meehan

The Courage to Be Disliked

Books

The Courage to Be Disliked

By Kishimi Ichiro and Koga Fumitake The Courage to Be Disliked promises to show readers ‘How to free yourself, change your life and achieve real happiness’. This book fits most neatly into the self-help genre. It would, however, not be out of [...] Review by Charlotte Goff

A Shameful Life

Books

A Shameful Life

By Dazai Osamu The short novella follows the inner confessions of an outwardly jovial, but deeply troubled protagonist. Readers are transported behind the façade of young Oba Yozo, an alcoholic Tokyoite that fails to relate [...] Review by George Mullins

Shoplifters

Films & Series

Shoplifters

Directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu Kore-eda Hirokazu’s latest outstanding film Shoplifters confirms the unbelievable talent with which the director depicts the beauty and tenderness of the broken ways in which family unite functions with [...] Review by Morgane Chinal-Dargent

Japan – 100 Hidden Towns

Books

Japan – 100 Hidden Towns

Edited by Anthony Gardner Much effort went into this book. Candidate towns were recommended by each of Japan’s 47 prefectures and also by a selection committee. Over 150 towns were visited and researched by a team of foreign [...] Review by Susan Meehan

British Foreign Secretaries and Japan 1850-1990

Books

British Foreign Secretaries and Japan 1850-1990

Edited by Antony Best and Hugh Cortazzi The essays in this book, written by the two editors and by others including Ian Nish and Thomas Otte, show us how the Anglo-Japanese relationship played out in Whitehall through the careers of [...] Review by Peter Kornicki

Ninja: Unmasking the Myth

Books

Ninja: Unmasking the Myth

By Stephen Turnbull Stephen Turnball’s recent factual work Ninja: Unmasking the Myth acts as an entertaining, yet informative, book that provides both ninja enthusiasts and novices with a clear and thought-provoking [...] Review by George Mullins

The Beast Player

Books

The Beast Player

By Uehashi Nahoko Already widely popular in its native Japan, the story has been adapted into a successful anime and manga series as well as a multi-series publication. Largely unknown in the international market, this new [...] Review by Harry Martin

Japanese Prints: The Collection of Vincent van Gogh

Books

Japanese Prints: The Collection of Vincent van Gogh

Edited by Axel Rüger and Marije Vellekoop Published by the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, to accompany their 2018 exhibition Van Gogh & Japan, this catalogue is a collection of enriching essays detailing Van Gogh’s relationship with Japanese [...] Review by Beau Waycott