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.

Your Name

Films & Series

Your Name

Directed by Shinkai Makoto Your Name tells the story of teenagers Mitsuha and Taki, who have the humdrum of their daily lives disrupted when they mysteriously swap bodies. We see Taki going through the experience of living in the [...] Review by Poppy Cosyns

Kero Kero Bonito: Lily Allen Meets J-Pop

Events

Kero Kero Bonito: Lily Allen Meets J-Pop

Kero Kero Bonito are a quirky three piece from London producing exciting alternative dance music. What immediately sets this group apart is the heavy influence of kawaii J-Pop in their otherwise avowedly [...] Review by Annabelle Sami

Bridges Anglo-Japanese Cultural Pioneers, 1945 to 2015

Books

Bridges Anglo-Japanese Cultural Pioneers, 1945 to 2015

Edited by Suzanne Perrin and Jeremy Hoare This handy book comprises dialogues with ten distinguished personalities in the UK-Japan world who have made considerable contributions to the understanding of Japan in the UK. Review by Susan Meehan

The First Modern Japanese: The Life of Ishikawa Takuboku

Books

The First Modern Japanese: The Life of Ishikawa Takuboku

By Donald Keene Takuboku Ishikawa (1886-1912), the subject of this study, is little known outside Japan and according to Keene increasingly overlooked in Japan. For a time he was ‘Japan’s most popular poet. Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi 

The Shogun’s Queen

Books

The Shogun’s Queen

By Lesley Downer The historical and emotional sweep of this book takes your breath away. This book takes Lesley Downer's tetralogy about the death throes of Japan’s Edo period (1603-1868) to new heights. Review by Elizabeth Ingrams 

Global Baby Factory

Theatre & Stage

Global Baby Factory

Directed by Suzuki Atsuto 37-year old university friends Sunako and Nachi are working out in a gym in Tokyo, lamenting to grow old without a love interest. Youthful Sunako is paying huge amounts of money for a range of beauty [...] Review by Susan Meehan

Me Against the World

Books

Me Against the World

By Shiraishi Kazufumi This novel by Naoki Prize winning author Shiraishi Kazufumi begins explaining that the ensuing work was discovered after the sudden death of his friend Mr K. What follows is mostly nihilistic ranting. Review by Poppy Cosyns

Biographical Portraits, Volume X

Books

Biographical Portraits, Volume X

By Sir Hugh Cortazzi This volume marks a new high point in this excellent series which profiles people, organizations, and themes related to Anglo-Japanese engagement. The tenth volume is bursting with energy, containing [...] Review by Sean Curtin

Holy Foolery in the Life of Japan: A Historical Overview

Books

Holy Foolery in the Life of Japan: A Historical Overview

By Higuchi Kazunori Foreigners who only meet a few officials and business executives, may foster the idea that the Japanese have no sense of humour. In fact as Higuchi points out laughter and fun have played a significant role in [...] Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi

Japan’s Asian Diplomacy: A Legacy of Two Millennia

Books

Japan’s Asian Diplomacy: A Legacy of Two Millennia

By Ogura Kazuo In this survey Ambassador Ogura looks at Japan’s relations with China and Korea since the earliest times. He notes that previous studies have concentrated on the ideology of the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity [...] Review by Hugh Cortazzi