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.
BooksA 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
BooksBritish 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
Films & SeriesAinu 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
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.
BooksFlower 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
BooksTokachi 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
BooksRevolution 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
BooksThe 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
Issues (PDF)Issue 89 (October 2020, Volume 15, Number 5)
The aim of The Japan Society Review is to inform, entertain and encourage readers to explore the Japan-related works reviewed in its pages. With many events in the UK being held online, or postponed due to the current pandemic, this October issue concentrates on books, but nevertheless the scope of our publication is once again as diverse as always.
By Andrew Kojima This is an interesting and enjoyable book, following one man’s journey to becoming a successful chef and restaurateur, now sharing his Japanese food heritage with his customers. Review by Ann Morrison