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.

Heaven

Books

Heaven

By Kawakami Mieko In 'Heaven' graphic and extreme teenage bullying takes centre stage which makes for uncomfortable reading at times. The novel is also an exploration of friendship and its limits, victimisation, morals, religion and ethics. It is undoubtedly a thought-provoking book, which I continue to digest months after having read it. Review by Susan Meehan

Lonely Castle in the Mirror

Books

Lonely Castle in the Mirror

By Tsujimura Mizuki Kagami no Koji, an innovative and tender blend of social commentary and magical realism, is a prizewinning novel by Tsujimura Mizuki published in 2017, with the English translation by Philip Gabriel, titled Lonely Castle in the Mirror, published in 2021. Review by Riyoko Shibe

US-Japan Human Rights Diplomacy Post 1945: Trafficking, Debates, Outcomes and Documents

Books

US-Japan Human Rights Diplomacy Post 1945: Trafficking, Debates, Outcomes and Documents

By Roger Buckley Comprising two volumes, this pioneering study examines how the United States has deployed public diplomacy with Japan to confront Japanese sexual and labour trafficking, while also charting the successes and failures of the US's own record on anti-trafficking practices at home and abroad. Review by Ian Neary

Issue 93 (June 2021, Volume 16, Number 3)

Issues (PDF)

Issue 93 (June 2021, Volume 16, Number 3)

The opening review of our June issue explores the fascinating life and career of Herbert Ponting, the photographer on Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole.

The Woman in the Purple Skirt

Books

The Woman in the Purple Skirt

By Imamura Natsuko Winner of the prestigious Akutagawa Prize, one of Japan’s highest literary honor, Imamura Natsuko is the latest in a growing list of contemporary female authors to be introduced to the British literary scene. Review by Cameron Bassindale

In Lotus-Land Japan

Books

In Lotus-Land Japan

By Herbert Ponting Published in 1910, In Lotus-Land Japan are the Japanese memoirs of Herbert Ponting, the British photographer on Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole, who offers a detailed account and several photographs of his visits to the country during the Meiji era. Review by Susan Meehan

Kintsugi: The Poetic Mend

Books

Kintsugi: The Poetic Mend

By Bonnie Kemske Kintsugi: The Poetic Mend is a beautifully illustrated book where artist, Japanese tea ceremony student and author Bonnie Kemske guides us through the origins and techniques of kintsugi, a Japanese art form and repair method to restore broken objects using lacquer and gold. Review by Eleonora Faina

Yamamba: In Search of the Japanese Mountain Witch

Books

Yamamba: In Search of the Japanese Mountain Witch

Edited by Rebecca Copeland and Linda C. Ehrlich The Yamamba – the mountain witch, crone, or hag, part of the widely recognised “old woman in the woods” folklore – can be traced back to the Muromachi period (1336-1573), a time of rapid population growth when merchants and villagers began to travel more frequently into the mountains. Review by Riyoko Shibe

Colorful

Books

Colorful

By Mori Eto Originally released in 1998 in Japan, Mori Eto’s Colorful - presented now for the first time in an English translation by Jocelyne Allen - will be familiar to many readers through Hara Keiichi’s animated adaptation from 2010. Review by Laurence Green

Yosuga

Theatre & Stage

Yosuga

By Kaneko Ayano Yosuga is the 6th full-length album from Kaneko Ayano, one of Japan’s best kept musical secrets. Since 2014, Kaneko has released a body of work which charts her considerable progress as a musician. Review by Cameron Bassindale