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.

Japan and the Shackles of the Past

Books

Japan and the Shackles of the Past

By R. Taggart Murphy This is a book by an American author directed primarily at American readers. It makes many good points and Japan specialists will want to read and carefully consider some of his analysis of modern Japan. Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi

Men to Devils, Devils to Men

Books

Men to Devils, Devils to Men

By Barak Kushner The latest tour de force by Dr Barak Kushner covers the ambiguous post-war period in East Asia where congealing Cold War divisions and power vacuums created by the absence of peace in China [...] Review by Richard Coxford

The Book of Tokyo: A City in Short Fiction

Books

The Book of Tokyo: A City in Short Fiction

Edited by Michael Emmerich, Jim Hinks and Masashi Matsuie The likely audience for this book will surely be expecting to be able to ‘discover’ Tokyo through this selection of short stories by ten different authors. Its emphatic title and stylish front cover highly resemble a [...] Review by Annabelle Sami

Pinball/Wind

Books

Pinball/Wind

By Haruki Murakami These two novellas, available for the first time in English outside of Japan, were Haruki Murakami’s first works. They form the first two parts of the informally named Trilogy of The Rat. Review by Chris Corker

Rhythms, Rites and Rituals: my life in Japan in two-step and waltz-time

Books

Rhythms, Rites and Rituals: my life in Japan in two-step and waltz-time

By Dorothy Britton Dorothy’s memoir, apart from being a frank record of her peripatetic life bridging the three cultures of Britain, America and Japan, has much to tell the reader about her contributions to cultural interchange [...] Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi

Sage Handbook of Modern Japanese Studies ed. by James D. Babb

Books

Sage Handbook of Modern Japanese Studies ed. by James D. Babb

Edited by James D. Babb The book does exactly what its title and tastefully illustrated cover would suggest, providing an immense examination of the history, trends and possible future of innumerable aspects to the study of Japan. Review by Richard Coxford

The Growing Power of Japan, 1967-1972: analysis and assessments from John Pilcher

Books

The Growing Power of Japan, 1967-1972: analysis and assessments from John Pilcher

Compiled and edited by Sir Hugh Cortazzi In reading these detailed and sometimes learned essays, it is interesting to reflect on how, while some themes are timeless, so much in the geo-political context has changed. Pilcher was reporting at a time when [...] Review by Sir David Warren

An interview with actor Junichi Kajioka

Events

An interview with actor Junichi Kajioka

Mike Sullivan interviews prolific actor Junichi Kajioka, currently working on his own film project, IMPHAL 1944, a movie about a war veteran who comes to London for reconciliation between the British and Japanese who fought in Imphal in 1944. Interview by Mike Sullivan

‘Endo’s Faith – Religious Persecution and Kiku’s Prayer’

Books

‘Endo’s Faith – Religious Persecution and Kiku’s Prayer’

By Shusaku Endo Endo insightfully depicts the characters in different situations amidst the persecution of the Christians in Urakami, a suburb of Nagasaki, during the turbulent years of the latter half of the nineteenth century. Review by Suki Maw

Revenge

Books

Revenge

By Yoko Ogawa The tales that comprise Revenge have a broader significance to one another, generating a sense of co-dependence that gives birth to a narrative greater than the sum of its parts. Review by Chris Corker