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.

Hidden by the Leaves

Books

Hidden by the Leaves

By S.D.L. Curry Book one of the author’s new ‘Hidden Trilogy’, the story pursues Catholic Father Joaquim Martinez and his two junior clergy who have defied the shogun’s banishment laws and remained in Japan at great risk to [...] Review by Harry Martin

Start Line

Films & Series

Start Line

Directed by Imamura Ayako Ayako started as no cyclist but made a winning opening move. She heads to her local specialist bike shop in Nagoya and recruits a staff-member there, Hotta Tetsu, as her second camera-person and [...] Review by Roger Macy

The Nakano Thrift Shop

Books

The Nakano Thrift Shop

By Kawakami Hiromi The Nakano Thrift Shop tells the story of newly appointed shop assistant Hitomi, as she gets to know her eccentric group of customers and co-workers. The setting of the thrift shop is a treasure trove of [...] Review by Poppy Cosyns

Keshiki Series

Books

Keshiki Series

The first thing you notice about the Keshiki series – the new collection of contemporary Japanese writing from Strangers Press – is its striking beauty. Each of the chapbooks has its own unique design, reflecting [...] Review by Eluned Gramich

Femininity, Self-harm and Eating Disorders in Japan

Books

Femininity, Self-harm and Eating Disorders in Japan

By Gitte M. Hansen Through evaluation of media including anime, manga, television drama and literature, Hansen addresses three issue: normative femininity, how it is represented in Japanese culture and how self-harm and eating [...] Review by Charlotte Goff

Men Without Women

Books

Men Without Women

By Murakami Haruki Murakami’s Men without Women, like its titular predecessor of Ernest Hemmingway, deals not only with isolated masculinity, but also with the delicately balanced equilibrium of heterosexual relationships. Review by Chris Corker

Slow Boat

Books

Slow Boat

By Furukawa Hideo The story is a self-reflective, at times self-loathing, journey through the protagonist’s experiences of Tokyo, and the three girlfriends that characterise this journey. As is typical of Furukawa, the story [...] Review by Alice French

Ainu. Pathways to Memory

Films & Series

Ainu. Pathways to Memory

Directed by Marcos Centeno Martín In 2014, Marcos Centeno Martín released Ainu. Pathways to Memory, “which portrays the problems of identity and assimilation of the Ainu people in Japan and means of preserving and disseminating their [...] Review by Susan Meehan

At the Terrace

Films & Series

At the Terrace

Written and directed by Yamauchi Kenji The action starts, tentatively enough, as a well-dressed woman, not yet in middle age, spies a rather shy young man looking in at the party from the terrace. She calls him out for looking at a woman, younger than [...] Review by Roger Macy

Rethinking Japan: The Politics of Contested Nationalism

Books

Rethinking Japan: The Politics of Contested Nationalism

By Arthur Stockwin and Kweku Ampiah An important new book by two senior British scholars of Japan discussing the main issues facing Japan. Their conclusion is that ‘The new Japan that is emerging…will be more controlled, less democratic [...] Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi