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.

Music Kyogen Scrooge

Theatre & Stage

Music Kyogen Scrooge

With Kyogen masters Juro Zenchiku and Daijiro Zenchiku Music Kyogen Scrooge is an innovative theatrical production that combines Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Japanese traditional comedy play Kyogen, and contemporary music. Review by Alice Baldock

Japanese Tales of Lafcadio Hearn

Books

Japanese Tales of Lafcadio Hearn

By Lafcadio Hearn This collection of fantasy tales is a great example of how literature has evolved and should continue to evolve in every sense of the word; in representation, theme and language. Review by Azmina Sohail

Japan and the West: An Architectural Dialogue

Books

Japan and the West: An Architectural Dialogue

By Neil Jackson This book discusses the architectural influence that Japan and the West have had on each other during the last 150 years. Based on extensive research, this book provides a synthetic overview that brings [...] Review by Andrew Nishiyama Taylor

The Memory Police

Books

The Memory Police

By Ogawa Yoko The novel takes place on an unnamed island where, for the past 15 years, things have regularly disappeared, not just physically but from memory. This disappearance is enforced by the Memory Police, the [...] Review by Jill Dobson

Japanese Larder: Bringing Japanese Ingredients into Your Everyday Cooking

Books

Japanese Larder: Bringing Japanese Ingredients into Your Everyday Cooking

By Luiz Hara The Japanese Larder goes beyond being simply a recipe book and rather is an informative introduction to a wide and varied range of those Japanese ingredients. It helps to expel the myth that Japanese food [...] Review by Laura Richardson

Samurai: A Concise History

Books

Samurai: A Concise History

By Michael Wert In this very handy sized and concise book of just over one-hundred pages Professor Michael Wert attempts to explain in easy to understand terms the origins and development of the samurai, that most [...] Review by Trevor Skingle

Sweet Bean Paste

Books

Sweet Bean Paste

By Durian Sukegawa Durian Sukegawa’s Sweet Bean Paste is a tender story chronicling the unlikely bond between an ex con and an elderly lady with a shadowy past. The novel starts in a comical vein like a classic ‘odd couple’ [...] Review by Chris Arning

The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere: When Total Empire Met Total War

Books

The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere: When Total Empire Met Total War

By Jeremy A. Yellen The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere is in fact a truly timely addition to the historiography of modern Japan in general and a fundamental contribution to the study of the Japanese wartime [...] Review by Francesco Cioffo

Tanaka 1587: Japan’s Greatest Unknown Samurai Battle

Books

Tanaka 1587: Japan’s Greatest Unknown Samurai Battle

By Stephen Turnbull The book’s narrative revolves around the Higo-kunishu Ikki (Higo People’s Revolt), the conflict which helped trigger the katanagari sword hunt in 1588, commonly referred to as the Taiko’s Sword Hunt, to [...] Review by Trevor Skingle

Kinshu: Autumn Brocade

Books

Kinshu: Autumn Brocade

By Miyamoto Teru Kinshu is an epistolary novel, told in a series of letters between a divorced and thoroughly estranged couple. Aki and her former husband, Yasuaki, have neither spoken nor seen each other in over a decade. Review by Robert Paul Weston