The Japan Society
Publications Books & Journals

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.

The Shogun’s Queen

Books

The Shogun’s Queen

By Lesley Downer The historical and emotional sweep of this book takes your breath away. This book takes Lesley Downer's tetralogy about the death throes of Japan’s Edo period (1603-1868) to new heights. Review by Elizabeth Ingrams 

Global Baby Factory

Theatre & Stage

Global Baby Factory

Directed by Suzuki Atsuto 37-year old university friends Sunako and Nachi are working out in a gym in Tokyo, lamenting to grow old without a love interest. Youthful Sunako is paying huge amounts of money for a range of beauty [...] Review by Susan Meehan

Me Against the World

Books

Me Against the World

By Shiraishi Kazufumi This novel by Naoki Prize winning author Shiraishi Kazufumi begins explaining that the ensuing work was discovered after the sudden death of his friend Mr K. What follows is mostly nihilistic ranting. Review by Poppy Cosyns

Biographical Portraits, Volume X

Books

Biographical Portraits, Volume X

By Sir Hugh Cortazzi This volume marks a new high point in this excellent series which profiles people, organizations, and themes related to Anglo-Japanese engagement. The tenth volume is bursting with energy, containing [...] Review by Sean Curtin

Holy Foolery in the Life of Japan: A Historical Overview

Books

Holy Foolery in the Life of Japan: A Historical Overview

By Higuchi Kazunori Foreigners who only meet a few officials and business executives, may foster the idea that the Japanese have no sense of humour. In fact as Higuchi points out laughter and fun have played a significant role in [...] Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi

Japan’s Asian Diplomacy: A Legacy of Two Millennia

Books

Japan’s Asian Diplomacy: A Legacy of Two Millennia

By Ogura Kazuo In this survey Ambassador Ogura looks at Japan’s relations with China and Korea since the earliest times. He notes that previous studies have concentrated on the ideology of the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity [...] Review by Hugh Cortazzi

Hamlet and Japan

Events

Hamlet and Japan

Hamlet and Japan was an ambitious attempt to cover aspects of Shakespeare’s extensive history in Japan through talks, music and performances all in the space of a few hours. Review by Susan Meehan

A Quiet Place

Books

A Quiet Place

By Matsumoto Seicho The story begins with a hardworking and dedicated government official receiving the news of his wife’s untimely death while he is away on a business trip in Kobe. This is followed by the proceeding twists [...] Review by Harry Martin

I Want to Kick You in the Back

Books

I Want to Kick You in the Back

By Wataya Risa Written by a nineteen year old student while she was still at university, the bestselling I Want to Kick You in the Back is a slim, deceptively simple tale about teenage life and love. It won the biannual [...] Review by Eluned Gramich

Horses, Horses, in the End the Light Remains Pure

Books

Horses, Horses, in the End the Light Remains Pure

By Furukawa Hideo Horses, Horses was first published in the Shinchō journal in July 2011, and therefore can be read as an almost immediate autobiographical response to the 3.11 tragedy. As a Fukushima native whose [...] Review by Alice French