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.

Last Stop Tokyo

Books

Last Stop Tokyo

By James Buckler James Buckler’s debut novel follows Alex Malloy who escapes to Japan to get away from the disgrace that he feels as a result of a deeply traumatic family incident involving his outwardly respectable brother over [...] Review by Trevor Skingle

ANJIN-The Life & Times of Samurai William Adams, 1564-1620

Books

ANJIN-The Life & Times of Samurai William Adams, 1564-1620

By Hiromi T. Rogers In late August 1619 William Adams, now aged 55, returns to Hirado after a successful trading voyage to Indochina. This book is for the general public in Britain and Japan, as well as for experts. It is highly [...] Review by Nicolas Maclean

Close-knit

Films & Series

Close-knit

Directed by Ogigami Naoko The movie has been well-received at a series of international festivals this year. Using a pioneering story-line, it has also done something contemporary filmmakers overlook: it flatters its audience. Review by Roger Macy

Mukoku

Films & Series

Mukoku

Directed by Kumakiri Kazuyoshi “It seems likely that Kumakiri will continue to probe the darker corners of society and experience.” The film starts with a mêlée of jump-cuts depicting a very angry man in his thirties who is seen to be drunk [...] Review by Roger Macy

Hokusai Beyond The Great Wave

Books

Hokusai Beyond The Great Wave

Edited by Timothy Clark Anyone who managed to visit the Hokusai exhibition at the British Museum will find in this volume, with its wealth of colour illustrations and the scholarly essays that accompany them, a valuable reminder [...] Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi

Japanese Taiko

Events

Japanese Taiko

Performed by Joji Hirota & The London Taiko Drummers Going by the music displayed here, the years of discipline have definitely paid off. Hirota and his team capture a real depth of sound that, for all its natural percussiveness, never feels like it’s pounding its way [...] Review by Laurence Green

A. B. Mitford and the Birth of Japan as a Modern State: Letters Home

Books

A. B. Mitford and the Birth of Japan as a Modern State: Letters Home

By Robert Morton Japan was a small element of Mitford’s life, but his occasional writings on the country reached a wide audience in Britain and helped to fuel the enthusiasm for things Japanese in the 1870s and 1880s. Review by Sir David Warren

In This Corner of the World

Films & Series

In This Corner of the World

Directed by Katabuchi Sunao 72 years after US airforces dropped The Little Boy nuclear bomb, former Ghibli employee Katabuchi Sunao explores this devastating historical event through a wonderfully vivid new story. Adapted from Fumiyo's [...] Review by Poppy Cosyns

Consul in Japan, 1903-1941. Oswald White’s Memoir ‘All Ambition Spent’

Books

Consul in Japan, 1903-1941. Oswald White’s Memoir ‘All Ambition Spent’

Edited by Hugo Read Readers should not be put off by the tittle of this book. ‘All ambition spent’ suggests a disappointed man and a dull life in a far off corner of the globe. In fact the book contains much of interest to historians or [...] Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi

Node

Films & Series

Node

Directed by Koike Atsushi The film starts with a brief landscape shot. The camera is waiting patiently in an old woman’s kitchen. She will speak when she’s ready, and begins to tell us how her 70 years of service at the temple started. Review by Roger Macy