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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.

The Meiji Restoration, Monarchism, Mass Communication and Conservative Revolution

Books

The Meiji Restoration, Monarchism, Mass Communication and Conservative Revolution

Alistair D. Swale Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, 206 pages including index, select bibliography and notes £50, ISBN 13: 978-0-230-59386-2. Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi. This book by Alistair Swale who is a senior lecturer at the University of Wakato New Zealand is not for the general reader interested in learning about this important period in Japanese […]

100 Years of Judo in Great Britain: Reclaiming of Its True Spirit (Volumes 1 & 2)

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100 Years of Judo in Great Britain: Reclaiming of Its True Spirit (Volumes 1 & 2)

By Richard Bowen The late Richard Bowen was an accomplished student and instructor of judo. Bowen was also an indefatigable researcher into the history of judo in this country. He amassed a considerable archive of letters [...] Review by Peter Brunning

Nuclear Dawn, The Atomic Bomb from the Manhattan Project to the Cold War

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Nuclear Dawn, The Atomic Bomb from the Manhattan Project to the Cold War

This book provides an illustrated and factual guide to the development of nuclear weapons. It starts with an account of research into the nature of atoms. This is followed by a summary of the work which led up to the manufacture of the first atomic bombs in the Manhattan project.

The Sino-Japanese War and the Birth of Japanese Nationalism

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The Sino-Japanese War and the Birth of Japanese Nationalism

Much more has been published in English about the Russo-Japanese War of 1904/5 than about the Sino-Japanese War of 1894/5. Yet the war with China was possibly even more significant for Japan and for Asia. Professor Mitani in his foreword explains: “The Sino-Japanese War did more than rob China of its centrality.

Whaling in Japan: Power, Politics and Diplomacy

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Whaling in Japan: Power, Politics and Diplomacy

Tokyo’s combative stance on whaling often seems at odds with its trademark consensual approach to international affairs. This position seems even stranger when one considers that the vast majority of the public have little interest or enthusiasm for the topic, yet the government vigorously pursues a highly controversial pro-whaling policy which tarnishes the country’s image.

The Japanese Consumer, An Alternative Economic History of Modern Japan

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The Japanese Consumer, An Alternative Economic History of Modern Japan

By Penelope Francks. Cambridge University Press, 2009, 249 pages including index and references, ISBN 978-0521-69932-7 (soft back). Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi. Penelope Francks is an honorary lecturer in Japanese studies in the department of East Asian Studies at the University of Leeds. She has specialized in the study of Japanese economic history. Most books […]

The Japanese House, Material Culture in the Modern Home

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The Japanese House, Material Culture in the Modern Home

Until the Second World War individual Japanese houses retained some elements of the aesthetic which so pleased and inspired Edward Morse [author of “Japanese Homes and their Surroundings” – 1885], Bruno Taut [author of “Houses and People of Japan” – 1938] and others. In the war huge swathes of Japanese cities were destroyed by bombing and fire. Japan’s housing stock had to be almost completely replaced. Except in some country areas and in a few exclusive urban districts, the old style individual house generally ceased to exist.

Confessions

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Confessions

Directed by Tetsuya Nakashima If you think that a teacher revengefully lacing students’ milk with her late former lover’s HIV-positive blood is as macabre and horrific as it gets, the final scenes of Confessions will have you hooked and gripped to your seat in uneasy disbelief. Review by Susan Meehan

Japanese Intelligence in World War II

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Japanese Intelligence in World War II

By Ken Kotani (小谷 賢), translated by Chiharu Kotani, Osprey, 2009, 224 pages including end notes, bibliography and index, ISBN 13-978-1-84603-425-1. Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi. “This study reveals a Japanese military that was in most respects dysfunctional in the field of intelligence. It was not so much a failure of the intelligence organizations themselves […]

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

Books

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

By David Mitchell This readable historical novel set in Japan has been well reviewed in the national press. Many Japan Society members will have read about it and some may already have read the book. Anyone interested in the life of the […] Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi