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.

Kairakutei Burakku

Books

Kairakutei Burakku

By Ian McArthur. Editor’s note: Henry James Black was born in Adelaide, Australia on 22 December 1858. Due to his father’s work he lived in Japan from the age of three. He worked as an English teacher for about a decade before becoming a rakugoka […] Review by Inoue Atsuko (in Japanese)

Obtaining Images – Art Production and Display in Edo Japan

Books

Obtaining Images – Art Production and Display in Edo Japan

by Timon Screech. Professor Timon Screech is Professor in the History of Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and is a Japanese art expert who has made a particular study of the art of Tokugawa Japan […] Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi

Himizu

Films & Series

Himizu

Directed by Shion Sono [園 子温], 2011, 129 minutes Review by Susan Meehan Film director Shion Sono was working on his adaptation of Himizu, a manga by Minoru Furuya [古谷 実 ,], when Japan was devastated by the 11 March earthquake and tsunami. Sono incorporated […]

Japanese Street Style

Books

Japanese Street Style

By Pat Lyttle Japanese Street Style claims to be ‘the first book of its kind to showcase the most innovative and cutting-edge looks in Japan today.’ There certainly does seem to have been a gap in the market since Fruits and Fresh Fruits […] Review by Ali Muskett

Fukushima Colours

Books

Fukushima Colours

By Elin Lindqvist, Published by Langenskiöld (see note at bottom), 2012, ISBN: 978-91-87007-04-0 Review by Ali Muskett Elin Lindqvist, journalist and author of three novels in Swedish, was born in Japan in 1982 and lived there for two years as a child. She currently lives in England, but has maintained a strong connection with Japan, […]

Depression in Japan: Psychiatric Cures for a Society in Distress

Books

Depression in Japan: Psychiatric Cures for a Society in Distress

By Junko Kitanaka (Paper | 2011 | $29.95 / £19.95 | ISBN: 9780691142050Cloth | 2011 | $75.00 / £52.00 | ISBN: 9780691142043264 pp. | 6 x 9 |5 halftones. 1 line illus) Review by Sandra Lawman In this very scholarly book, Junko Kitanaka gives a clear view of the history of depression in Japan, its […]

Blossoms & Shadows

Books

Blossoms & Shadows

By Lian Hearn, Quercus Publishing, 2011, 400 pages, ISBN 978-0-85738-297-9; £12.99 Review by Susan Meehan Blossoms and Shadows is an absolutely riveting piece of historical fiction which brings alive a fascinating period of late nineteenth century Japanese history. The book begins in 1857 and spans ten years, which are the twilight of the Bakufu (the […]

Cymbeline

Theatre & Stage

Cymbeline

By William Shakespeare (Yukio Ninagawa’s production at the Barbican, London, 29 May 2012 to 2 June 2012) Review by Susan Meehan I was expecting this version of Cymbeline to display Yukio Ninagawa’s trademarks – unparalleled stage scenery, plush costumes and a magical ending. I was not disappointed. However, having recently enjoyed 11 Shakespeare plays […]

Blossoms and Shadows

Books

Blossoms and Shadows

By Lian Hearn, Quercus Publishing, 2011, 400 pages, ISBN 978-0-85738-297-9, £12.99 Review by Ali Muskett Blossoms and Shadows by Lian Hearn (real name Gillian Rubinstein), is set in 19th century Japan, and is narrated by fictional character Tsuru. The daughter of a doctor, Tsuru is raised in a world of medicine where, due to cultural […]

Pro Bono

Books

Pro Bono

By Seicho Matsumoto (translated by Andrew Clare), Vertical Inc. 2012, ISBN-10: 1934287024, RRP: £7.69 Review by Jack Cooke Fans of detective fiction are often obsessive, eagerly awaiting the next fictional crime scene to hit the market. When it comes to the cult surrounding one of Japan’s most idolised crime writers, Seicho Matsumoto, his followers are as […]