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.
BooksInside Your Japanese Garden: A Guide to Creating a Unique Japanese Garden for your Home
By Sadao Yasumoro and Joseph Cali I was introduced to Sadao Yasumoro in Tokyo a few months ago, when he gave me this book. On that day, he was directing work at the site of a new garden project in Naka-Meguro, before taking a group of us to visit some of his completed garden projects (two of which are featured in this book). Review by Katie Croft
Issues (PDF)Issue 99 (June 2022, Volume 17, Number 3)
The June issue of The Japan Society Review reaches you more eclectic than ever, featuring reviews of books on Japanese design and mythology, literary fiction, and contemporary dance.
Theatre & StageTristan and Isolde
Coreographed by Teshigawara Saburo In Teshigawara Saburo’s reimagination of Wagner’s 'Tristan and Isolde', our lovers are never quite touching. The story behind the duet between KARAS dancers is of two lovers who should not be together, but who fall recklessly in love after imbibing a love potion. Review by Alice Baldock
By Oyamada Hiroko 'The Hole' further develops Oyamada's trademark bizarreness, combining the precision and mundanity of daily life with the fantastical and incomprehensible to a suitably confusing effect. Review by Alex Russell
BooksThe Japanese Myths: A Guide to Gods, Heroes, and Spirits
By Joshua Frydman This book is a wonderful guide to an enduring fascination with stories and the supernatural in Japan. Frydman’s explanations prove mythology acts as a compass to guide past, present and future generations. Review by Renae Lucas-Hall
BooksDesigning Modern Japan
By Sarah Teasley Designing Modern Japan is jargon free, easy to read and a thoroughly researched book, packed full of great illustrations that take us on a journey from the middle of the 19th century to present day. Review by David Tonge
BooksAll the Lovers in the Night
By Kawakami Mieko On the whole, All the Lovers in the Night is a novel which will draw you in with its poetry and prose, and make you dissect it line by line in much the same way as its protagonist does in her work. Review by Cameron Bassindale
Issues (PDF)Issue 98 (April 2022, Volume 17, Number 2)
Welcome to the April issue of The Japan Society Review! We are very pleased to present reviews of four books and one Netflix series showcasing different aspects and stories from and about Japan.
By Suzuki Izumi Taken as a whole, Terminal Boredom comes on like a high-intensity cocktail of distinctly bizarre tales that invariably, through a particularly slanted, satire-driven look at issues of gender, sex and drug use, force us to see the familiar from new, compelling angles. Review by Laurence Green
BooksWoman Running in the Mountains
By Tsushima Yuko The New York Review of Books’ edition of Woman Running in the Mountains is simultaneously a novel that you could recommend to a first time reader of Japanese literature, and to a seasoned longtime lover who feels they’ve read everything there is to offer from those works available in English translation. Review by Laurence Green