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.

Killing Commendatore

Books

Killing Commendatore

By Murakami Haruki Murakami Haruki’s Killing Commendatore is an epic novel that fails to capture the wry poignance and fully immersive settings of his earlier works. Whilst there are passages of charming and warm prose, as [...] Review by Beau Waycott

Tanaka Kinuyo: Nation, Stardom and Female Subjectivity

Books

Tanaka Kinuyo: Nation, Stardom and Female Subjectivity

Edited by Irene González-López and Michael Smith Working in the film industry from 1929 to the mid-1970s, Tanaka made films with all the great directors of the era including Ozu Yasujiro, Mizoguchi Kenji, Naruse Mikio, Kinoshita Keisuke, Kurosawa [...] Review by Kate Taylor-Jones

If Cats Disappeared From The World

Books

If Cats Disappeared From The World

By Kawamura Genki In If Cats Disappeared From The World, Kawamura tells the story of a postman in his thirties who discovers that his days are numbered because of a brain tumour which will cause his imminent death. Review by Morgane Chinal-Dargent

The Woman in the Dunes

Books

The Woman in the Dunes

By Abe Kobo The parabolic tale centres on Niki Jumpei, a disillusioned school teacher come amateur entomologist, and chronicles his deceptive imprisonment in a house surrounded by a wall of constantly flowing sand, whose [...] Review by George Mullins

Robata: Japanese Home Grilling

Books

Robata: Japanese Home Grilling

By Silla Bjerrum The underlying premise of Bjerrum’s cookbook is to encourage the reader to adapt a new style of cooking, which has traditionally been the preserve of restaurants, at home using good quality seasonal [...] Review by Niraja Singh

A Tokyo Romance

Books

A Tokyo Romance

By Ian Buruma A Tokyo Romance serves to explain the beginning of a life-long love and fascination with Japanese culture (be it low or high) and, more importantly, how this culture is manifested through art and design. Review by Beau Waycott

The Bear and the Paving Stone

Books

The Bear and the Paving Stone

By Horie Toshiyuki The Bear and the Paving Stone (translated by Geraint Howells) is a collection of three works by award-winning author Horie Toshiyuki. The titular story, winner of the Akutagawa Prize in 2000, consumes most [...] Review by Harry Martin

The Quick Guide to Traditional Japanese Arts and Handicrafts

Books

The Quick Guide to Traditional Japanese Arts and Handicrafts

By Kameda Naoki, Sangu Yuko and Catherine Nakamichi A book which should be considered a living national treasure for its importance in the preservation of Japan’s rich cultural heritage. Here each craft, shrine, and custom is explained in both Japanese and English. Review by Holly Helt

Van Gogh & Japan

Books

Van Gogh & Japan

The scholarly essays in this catalogue include ‘The beginnings of the “Japanese Dream”: Van Gogh’s acquaintance with Japan’, ‘In the light of Japan: Van Gogh’s quest for happiness and a modern identity’, [...] Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi

Return from Siberia. A Japanese Life in War and Peace, 1925-2015

Books

Return from Siberia. A Japanese Life in War and Peace, 1925-2015

By Oguma Eiji This is the story of a Japanese man who has no particular claim to fame. He had a tough time before, during and after the war. Its interest lies primarily in the light it throws on how ordinary Japanese coped in war. Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi