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.

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

The Routledge Handbook of Modern Japanese Literature

Books

The Routledge Handbook of Modern Japanese Literature

Edited by Rachael Hutchinson and Leith Douglas Morton The book is particularly refreshing because it does not tackle Japanese literature from an exclusively chronological perspective. Instead, the essays are grouped thematically, creating sections on space and [...] Review by Alice French

A Doctor’s Sword

Films & Series

A Doctor’s Sword

Directed by Gary Lennon A Doctor’s Sword had the potential to explore an interesting, off-beat topic – the relationship of Ireland to Japan during WorldWar II. The complexity of the subject expands when one considers the 50,000 [...] Review by Roger Macy

Le Moulin

Films & Series

Le Moulin

Directed by Huang Ya-li Le Moulin comes from the name of a poetry society in Taiwan in the 1930s. Its authors, like most educated people in Taiwan at the time, wrote entirely in Japanese. This particular society wrapped itself in [...] Review by Roger Macy

A Silent Voice

Films & Series

A Silent Voice

Directed by Naoko Yamada Based on a manga series of the same title, A Silent Voice tells the story of Ishida Shoya, a spiky haired loner who comes to deeply regret bullying his deaf class mate Nishimiya Shoko. Yamada navigates [...] Review by Poppy Cosyns

The Sphinxing Rabbit: Her Sovereign Majesty

Books

The Sphinxing Rabbit: Her Sovereign Majesty

Deceptively simple in appearance yet heavy in content, the Sphinxing Rabbit series of books starting with Her Sovereign Majesty aims to communicate tenets of freedom in an entertaining manner. Review by John O'Sullivan

Spring Garden: Loss, friendship and architecture

Books

Spring Garden: Loss, friendship and architecture

By Shibasaki Tomoka Recently divorced after a short-lived marriage and still reeling from the death of his father, Taro lives on his own in a one-bed flat in a condemned apartment block. The story follows him and his two [...] Review by Eluned Gramich