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The Japan Society Review

The Japan Society Review is published on a quartely 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.

The Kingdom that Failed

Books

The Kingdom that Failed

By Murakami Haruki Murakami writes this flash-fiction story for The New Yorker focusing on a dramatic conversation that is overheard next to a pool. Review by Azmina Sohail

Godzilla Minus One

Films & Series

Godzilla Minus One

Directed by Yamazaki Takashi Closing in on the 70th anniversary of the franchise, this film is not only a return to a Godzilla with the presence to incite terror and to a landscape ravaged by war, but also a return to the true cautionary warning that Godzilla embodies: the pitfalls of unshackled progress. Review by Chris Corker

The End of August

Books

The End of August

By Yu Miri A multi-generational, multilingual epic by the National Book Award Winner and bestselling author and translator of Tokyo Ueno Station. Review by Laurence Green

Night Train to the Stars

Books

Night Train to the Stars

By Miyazawa Kenji A collection of enchanting and enigmatic Japanese fairy tales by one of Japan's most beloved early twentieth-century writers. Review by Renae Lucas-Hall

Sputnik Sweetheart

Theatre & Stage

Sputnik Sweetheart

Directed by Melly Still Based on the novel Sputnik Sweetheart by Murakami Haruki, this stage adaptation by Bryony Lavery demonstrates the malleable power of the theatre as a storytelling medium. Review by Michael Tsang

Issue 102 (October 2023, Volume 18, Number 2)

Issues (PDF)

Issue 102 (October 2023, Volume 18, Number 2)

The autumn season offers an excellent opportunity to spend more time reading books or watching films at home. The October issue of The Japan Society Review is here with some suggestions for you to enjoy in the warmest spot of the house watching the rain from the window.

My Families and Other Samurai: A Memoir

Books

My Families and Other Samurai: A Memoir

By Fukuda Haruko Told with the crisp, breezy matter-of-factness of a historian, the emotion nevertheless comes through strongest in the remarkable vividity in which Fukuda’s family story is conveyed in the text. Review by Laurence Green

The Garden of Words

Theatre & Stage

The Garden of Words

Whole Hog Theatre in association with Park Theatre Based on the stereotype-defying anime and novel from world-renowned filmmaker Shinkai Makoto, The Garden of Words presents a refreshing and original take on the story of the serendipitous encounter between two social misfits. Review by Laurence Green

Drive My Car

Films & Series

Drive My Car

Directed by Hamaguchi Ryusuke Based on a Murakami Haruki’s story, Oscar winning film Drive My Car explores issues related to individual, national and international trauma through a curated film style and aesthetics. Review by Michael Tsang

Honeybees and Distant Thunder

Books

Honeybees and Distant Thunder

By Onda Riku Honeybees and Distant Thunder is an intriguing story about an international piano competition and its wide variety of competitors. Review by George Mullins