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.
BooksThere’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job
By Tsumura Kikuko Although first published in Japan in 2016, There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job is apt for our current times, in which we are all working from home and the boundaries of the professional and the domestic feel more liminal than ever. Review by Beau Waycott
BooksThe Decagon House Murders
By Ayatsuji Yukito Despite revitalizing the classic murder mystery genre in Japan, The Decagon House Murders is the first of Ayatsuji Yukito’s works to be translated into English. This is surprising considering how steeped the novel is in the Western “whodunit” tradition. And yet, the world Ayatsuji crafts is also distinctly Japanese. Review by Cameron Bassindale
BooksThings Remembered And Things Forgotten
By Nakajima Kyoko Forced to deliver their emotional payload within a compact format, time and again Nakajima lulls us into a sense of comforting security, only to pull a killer twist on us. What we think we know is always only half the story. Review by Laurence Green
EventsExhibition - The Kimono in Print: 300 Years of Japanese Design
This exhibition focuses primarily on how kimonos reflected major socio-economic shifts in the Edo period (1603-1868), a time which witnessed a rapidly changing consumerist culture in Japan. Review by Fiona Collins
BooksEating Wild Japan: Tracking the Culture of Foraged Foods, with a Guide to Plants and Recipes
By Winifred Bird In this book, journalist Winifred Bird eats her way from one end of the country to the other in search of the hidden stories of Japan's wild foods, the people who pick them, and the places whose histories they've shaped. Review by Katie Croft
BooksTokyo Junkie: 60 Years of Bright Lights and Back Alleys... and Baseball
By Robert Whiting As journalist and author who has lived in Tokyo on and off for more than fifty years, Robert Whiting looks back over that vast spread of years comes in the form of a fascinating memoir, interweaving his personal narrative into the unfolding backdrop of Japan’s own great journey through time. Review by Laurence Green
BooksArbiters of Patriotism: Right-Wing Scholars in Imperial Japan
By John D. Person In this book, John D. Person explores the lives of two of the most notorious right-wing intellectuals responsible for leading such attacks in prewar and wartime Japan: Minoda Muneki (1894-1946) and Mitsui Koshi (1883-1953) of the Genri Nippon (Japan Principle) Society. Review by Francesco Cioffo
Issues (PDF)Issue 91 (February 2021, Volume 16, Number 1)
A new year has begun, and with this issue of The Japan Society Review in February 2021 we start the 16th year of our publication. We hope so far our readers have enjoyed discovering new books, films and events and learning about Japan. None of this would have been possible without our fantastic reviewers so we want to open this issue with a big thank you to all of them for their help.
BooksJapan from Anime to Zen: Quick takes on Culture, Art, History, Food…And More
By David Watts Barton Japan from Anime to Zen is the latest in a long line of guidebooks and travelogues that attempt to answer that eternal ‘why?’ we have all posed at one point or other when considering what exactly it is that fascinates us so much about Japan. Review by Laurence Green
BooksThe Day the Sun Fell: Memoirs of a Survivor of the Atomic Bomb
By Hashizume Bun The Day the Sun Fell is an accessible emotional thriller through which we follow Hashizume and her family and friends as they try to recover from the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Review by Elizabeth Chappell