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.
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
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
FilmsFuku-chan of FukuFuku Flats
Directed by Yosuke Fujita The movie is a comedy; Fuku-chan is introduced via his interactions with his friends. His friend tries to set him on the road to meeting the right woman, but Fuku-chan suffers from acute shyness, and comedy ensues. Review by Mike Sullivan
EventsThe Asia Pacific War and Its Legacy: A Historical Debate
Memories of the Second World War might be fading, but the legacy of the conflict lives on and is constantly at the centre of domestic and regional debates in East Asia. The event was chaired by Alessio Patalano, Senior Lecturer in War Studies at King’s College London.
BooksNetsuke – 100 miniature masterpieces from Japan
By Norio Tsuchiya Norio Tsuchiya explains the history of netsuke and describes the different materials used to make them including ivory and various kinds of wood. She also gives some account of artists and carvers involved [...] Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi
BooksInternational Politics in Northeast Asia: The China-Japan-United States Strategic Triangle
By Thomas L. Wilborn Twenty years ago Thomas Wilborn completed one of his final papers on the strategic triangle between China, Japan and the USA. Reading it today provides an intriguing insight into recent developments in Japan. Review by Michael Sullivan
BooksDestroying the World to Save It: Aum Shinrikyou, Apocalyptic Violence and the New Global Terrorism
By Robert Jay Lifton In this informative and chilling book, Psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton takes a look at the structure and appeal of Aum, as well as the influences that brought it into existence. Through interviews with former members [...] Review by Chris Corker
BooksStrange Weather in Tokyo
By Hiromi Kawakami Strange Weather in Tokyo is an understated, poetic, gentle, profound, thoughtful, poignant, beautiful story centring on the friendship between Tsukiko Omachi and Harutsuna Matsumoto. They both frequent [...] Review by Susan Meehan
BooksLife of a Counterfeiter
By Yasushi Inoue The three stories collected in Life of a Counterfeiter take place shortly after the war; defeat is still an open wound, and the future a grim prospect, although the war rarely appears as more than an [...] Review by Chris Corker
BooksThe Whale that Fell in Love with a Submarine
By Akiyuki Nosaka Don’t let the title fool you – this collection of short stories contain poignant, melancholic and tragic tales set on the day of Japanese surrender, 15 August 1945. Review by Annabelle Sami