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.

Strange Weather in Tokyo

Books

Strange 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

Life of a Counterfeiter

Books

Life 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

The Whale that Fell in Love with a Submarine

Books

The 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

The art lover’s guide to Japanese museums

Books

The art lover’s guide to Japanese museums

By Sophie Richard Sophie Richard’s book is a seductive and accessible introduction to Japanese art, from its ancient beginnings to its current shape, and the spaces in which it is displayed. Review by Jenny White

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