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.

Japan’s Modern History, 1857-1937: A new political narrative

Books

Japan’s Modern History, 1857-1937: A new political narrative

By Junji Banno The book assumes that the reader has a fair grasp of the history of modern Japan. It is thus intended primarily for historians as it is not an introduction to Japanese political history for the newcomer to [...] Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi

Across the Three Pagodas Pass: The Story of the Thai-Burma Railway

Books

Across the Three Pagodas Pass: The Story of the Thai-Burma Railway

By Yoshihiko Futamasu The sufferings of allied prisoners of war forced by the Japanese military to work on the have been recounted in many books. This book is the first publication in English of an account by a Japanese railway engineer. Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi

Glorious Misadventures: Nikolai Rezanov and the Dream of a Russian America

Books

Glorious Misadventures: Nikolai Rezanov and the Dream of a Russian America

By Owen Matthews This well researched and well written book traces the career of Nikolai Rezanov who sought to establish and develop Russian settlements in North America from Alaska to modern day California. It covers his [...] Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi

The Lust of Angels

Films

The Lust of Angels

Directed by Nagisa Isogai The Lust of Angels stands out from the many other Japanese films being shown in London at the moment for the fact that it was written and directed by a woman and the short movie’s main cast are all girls. Review by Mike Sullivan

The Wind Rises

Films

The Wind Rises

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki Jiro Horikoshi was a designer of Japanese fighter planes during World War II and The Wind Rises follows him as he struggles to build his aircraft and grapples with life in pre-war Japan. There are elements [...] Review by David Knox

Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering: Japan in the Modern World

Books

Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering: Japan in the Modern World

By John W. Dower The book is a penetrating analysis of Japan in the immediate post-war years. In this collection of essays Professor Dower concentrates on perceptions in Japan and the United States of the war and its aftermath. Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi

Japan and the Shackles of the Past

Books

Japan and the Shackles of the Past

By R. Taggart Murphy In the book, Professor Richard Taggart Murphy brings to bear a customarily wide-ranging and charismatic argument to the conundrum of modern Japanese History. The chronology traverses from before [...] Review by Richard Coxford

VISUALISE! At Swiss Church London

Events

VISUALISE! At Swiss Church London

VISUALISE! work on bringing classical musicians together with visual and performance artists, creating a new medium in which the audience can enjoy both music and live art. On the 14th of August they [...] Review by Mike Sullivan

Taiko Boom – Japanese drumming in place and motion

Books

Taiko Boom – Japanese drumming in place and motion

By Shawn Bender In this book, the author charts the journey of taiko out of the temples and festivals and on to the international stage. He also uses taiko as a prism through which many aspects of Japanese society can be viewed. Review by Mary Murata

The English-Language Press Networks of East Asia

Books

The English-Language Press Networks of East Asia

By Peter O’Connor While newspapers in Japan were published from the middle of the 19th century onwards, the first major strides towards an organized industry were taken in 1891. The global press in those days was [...] Review by Ian Nish