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.

Throne of Blood

Films & Series

Throne of Blood

Directed by Akira Kurosawa This movie is an interpretation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the story is focused around Washizu who is a general for the lord of spider web castle. The movie brings together [...] Review by Mike Sullivan

From up on Poppy Hill

Films & Series

From up on Poppy Hill

Directed by Goro Miyazaki This production follows a common theme in Studio Ghibli movies of innocent romance and the coming of age of teenagers, this time set in 1960s Yokohama. Review by Mike Sullivan

Schoolgirl

Books

Schoolgirl

By Osamu Dazai Schoolgirl was the first of Dazai’s published works, and gained him national acclaim. The novella is set in Tokyo during the Second World War, a time of [...] Review by Chris Corker

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Films & Series

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki The story is based on a Japanese children’s book written in 1985 by Eiko Kadono and was adapted by the master of animation Hayao Miyazaki in 1989. The English release [...] Review by Lucy Searles

Across A Bridge of Dreams

Books

Across A Bridge of Dreams

By Lesley Downer This book centres on the story of Saigo Takamori, one of the most romanticised and pivotall samurai of the 19th century, who also provided a model for [...] Review by Christopher Searle

Britain & Japan – 400 Years: A Voyage Through Words and Music

Events

Britain & Japan – 400 Years: A Voyage Through Words and Music

This was an absolutely brilliant evening of uplifting music, verse and spectacle to mark four centuries since the UK and Japan initiated official ties. Review by Sean Curtin

Clouds above the Hill

Books

Clouds above the Hill

By Shiba Ryōtarō This book, considered to be the author's most popular work, centres on the lives of two brothers, Akiyama Yoshifuru and Akiyama Saneyuki, and their friend, the poet [...] Review by Mark Headley

1Q84

Books

1Q84

By Haruki Murakami On her way to kill a man in a Shibuya hotel, Aomame is forced to take a shortcut from the bridge, climbing down a ladder. After the man is dead, Aomame begins to notice subtle differences [...] Review by Chris Corker

Professor Risley and the Imperial Japanese Troupe

Books

Professor Risley and the Imperial Japanese Troupe

By Frederik l. Schodt The author, who has written other books about popular Japanese culture, gives a colourful account of the life and travels of Richard Risley Carlisle, who [...] Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi

My Life as Li Xianglan

Books

My Life as Li Xianglan

By Yamaguchi Yoshiko The dramatic life the author describes in this memoir illustrates the fate of a beautiful and talented girl who grew up in Manchuria when Japan established a puppet state there in 1932. Review by Fumiko Halloran