The Japan Society
Publications Books & Journals

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.

Japan from Anime to Zen: Quick takes on Culture, Art, History, Food…And More

Books

Japan 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

The Day the Sun Fell: Memoirs of a Survivor of the Atomic Bomb

Books

The 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

A Life of Sir Harry Parkes: British Minister to Japan, China and Korea, 1841-1885

Books

A Life of Sir Harry Parkes: British Minister to Japan, China and Korea, 1841-1885

By Robert Morton In this well-illustrated biography of Harry Parkes, Robert Morton records his life and achievements, as well as his personality in a balanced and judicious way, and with a biographer’s voice that is an attractive mixture of chatty enthusiasm and rigorous scholarship. Review by David Warren

British Engagement with Japan, 1854–1922: The Origins and Course of an Unlikely Alliance

Books

British Engagement with Japan, 1854–1922: The Origins and Course of an Unlikely Alliance

By Antony Best This is an extremely well-researched book which charts the relationship of Britain and Japan from its earliest days until the demise of the Anglo-Japanese alliance in the early 1920s. Review by Robert Morton

Ainu Mosir

Films & Series

Ainu Mosir

Written and directed by Fukunaga Takeshi Ainu Mosir is a sensitively filmed slice of contemporary Ainu life, as well as a rites-of-passage story set in Lake Akan Ainu Village in Kushiro City, Hokkaido. Review by Susan Meehan

Issue 90 (December 2020, Volume 15, Number 6)

Issues (PDF)

Issue 90 (December 2020, Volume 15, Number 6)

Welcome to the final issue of The Japan Society Review in 2020. This has been a strange and difficult year, but we hope our publication has accompanied you during these uncertain times offering new opportunities to discover, read and learn about Japan.

Flower Petals Fall, but the Flower Endures: The Japanese Philosophy of Transience

Books

Flower Petals Fall, but the Flower Endures: The Japanese Philosophy of Transience

By Seiichi Takeuchi The Japanese philosophy of impermanence is the subtitle and the core of the book, but I felt the meat of the content only spoke to one aspect of impermanence, the vicissitudes of life buffeting our self-determinations. Review by Chris Arning

Tokachi Millennium Forest: Pioneering a New Way of Gardening with Nature

Books

Tokachi Millennium Forest: Pioneering a New Way of Gardening with Nature

By Dan Pearson with Midori Shintani This book charts the design, creation and evolution of the Tokachi Millennium Forest, which the author has been involved with for the last 20 years. Review by Katie Croft

Revolution Goes East: Imperial Japan and Soviet Communism

Books

Revolution Goes East: Imperial Japan and Soviet Communism

By Tatiana Linkhoeva 'Revolution Goes East' is a remarkable study that aims to deepen our understanding of both Japanese modern history and the global history of the Russian Revolution. Review by Francesco Cioffo

The Power of Chowa

Books

The Power of Chowa

By Tanaka Akemi 'The Power of Chowa' manages to share something functional yet provocative, centring the importance of the concept of chowa as a key notion to find balance and harmony in our lives, relationships, and society. Review by Yuka Harada-Parr