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.

Mr Potsunen’s Peculiar Slice of Life

Theatre & Stage

Mr Potsunen’s Peculiar Slice of Life

By Kentaro Kobayashi In his lonely life, Mr Potsunen is surrounded by creativeness and marvels. This story begins with his interest in insects and a central aspect is the capture of one, that Mr Potsunen decides to look after. Review by Mike Sullivan

Bullfight

Books

Bullfight

By Yasushi Inoue During the aftermath of the Second World War, Tsugami, the editor-in-chief of a newspaper agrees to arrange a bullfighting contest. Over the months that follow he becomes consumed with the event and [...] Review by Chris Corker

The Hunting Gun

Books

The Hunting Gun

By Yasushi Inoue The book focuses on a husband (Misugi), his wife, his lover, and his lover’s daughter. Letters written by each of the women to Misugi offer three different perspectives on his affair, each (mis)interpreting events. Review by Lucy Kikuchi

Men to Devils, Devils to Men

Books

Men to Devils, Devils to Men

By Barak Kushner In this book, the author's focus is on Class B and C war crimes and the way in which trials were held in China/Taiwan. Moreover, he stresses that war responsibility and war crimes are ‘two different species.’ Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi

Masterpieces of Artisanal Japan: Wazuka tea and Ogatsu inkstones

Events

Masterpieces of Artisanal Japan: Wazuka tea and Ogatsu inkstones

Every year the Daiwa Foundation hosts a number of events on Japan, and recently this included a talk on Wazuka tea and Ogatsu inkstones with contributors Timothy d’Offay, Teruo Kurosaki and Timothy Toomey. Review by Mike Sullivan

The Guest Cat

Books

The Guest Cat

By Takashi Hiraide The prose in The Guest Cat bare and clinical. The pace of the book is lethargic, leaving the narrative to meander a little too often.The book is part of The New York Times and The Sunday Times best seller lists. Review by Chris Corker

An interview with Lisa Ueda

Events

An interview with Lisa Ueda

Mike Sullivan interviews violinist Lisa Ueda, who in addition as being part of the Ueda/Rinaldo Duo, she has an upcoming concert at Wigmore Hall which will be followed soon after with a tour in Japan. Interview by Mike Sullivan

Tango at the End of Winter

Theatre & Stage

Tango at the End of Winter

The play’s setting is a decrepit family-run cinema in a small northern town on the Sea of Japan coast, soon to be turned into a supermarket. It is here that we encounter Sei, a middle-aged actor, who, like the [...] Review by Susan Meehan

Designing Nature, The Rinpa Aesthetic in Japanese Art

Books

Designing Nature, The Rinpa Aesthetic in Japanese Art

By John T. Carpenter This catalogue was published with the exhibition ‘Designing Nature: The Rinpa Aesthetic in Japanese Art’. It introduces some of the most colourful paintings and artefacts of Edo Japan. Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi

Tango at the End of Winter

Theatre & Stage

Tango at the End of Winter

Directed by Annabelle Sami Sei is a middle-aged actor, once brilliant, but now fading. His wife orchestrates a love affair between him and a younger co-star to reinvigorate his career and help him find the brilliance of his youth [...] Review by David Knox