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.
BooksStrong Arm Restoration by Ichiro Ozawa, Kadokawa Shoten, 2006
Review by Fumiko Halloran. Strong Arm Restoration (Gowan Ishin) is a collection of newspaper columns written by Ichiro Ozawa that first appeared in the Evening Fuji [夕刊フジ] newspaper between 2003 and 2006. His weekly column touches on politics, the economy, foreign policy, education, and crime. As for the book’s title, “Strong Arm” [剛腕] is an […]
Films & SeriesConfessions of a Dog
Directed by Gen Takahashi In Japan there are two things you should never try to oppose – the Emperor and the police!” Gen Takahashi’s Confessions of a Dog is a powerful, grim indictment of the Japanese police force based on Takahashi’s own experiences of the police and the work of his friend Yu Terasawa, a […] Review by Susan Meehan
BooksPolicy Entrepreneurship and Elections in Japan: A Political Biography of Ozawa Ichiro
By Takashi Oka, Nissan Institute/Routledge Japanese Studies, 2011, 210 pages, £85.00, ISBN-10: 0415587522 and ISBN-13: 978-0415587525. Review by Sean Curtin. Love him or loathe him, but you certainly cannot ignore Ichiro Ozawa, one of Japan’s most enduring and influential politicians of the last few decades. Takashi Ota, veteran journalist and former Ozawa aid, has produced […]
BooksReform Plans for Japan [日本改造計画]
By Ichiro Ozawa [小沢一郎], Kodansha[講談社], May 1993 (23rd printing as of May 2006), 258 pages, 1500 yen, ISBN-10: 4062064820 and ISBN-13: 978-4062064828. Review by Fumiko Halloran. Ichiro Ozawa is a controversial figure with great political skills and strong leadership ability. He once presided over the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) as its powerful Secretary General whose […]
BooksThe Comprehensive History of South Manchurian Railways Company [満鉄全史]
By Kiyofumi Kato [加藤 聖文,], Kodansha [講談社], November 2006, 266 pages, 1600 yen, ISBN-10: 4062583747. Review by Fumiko Halloran. The year 2006 was the 100th anniversary of the establishment of “Mantetsu” [満鉄], or “Minami Manshu Tetsudo Kabushiki-kaisha,” [南満州鉄道株式会社], in English the Southern Manchurian Railways Company, a semi-public corporation that was far more than a railway […]
BooksFalling Blossom: A British Officer’s Enduring Love for a Japanese Woman
By Peter Pagnamenta and Momoko Williams, Century, (Random House Group), 2006, 314 pages including notes and acknowledgements, £12.99, ISBN 9781844138203 and ISBN 184413820. Review by Sean Curtin. The central focus of this well written, moving and excellently researched book is the decades-long relationship between a British Army officer, Captain Arthur Hart Synnot, and a Japanese […]
BooksJapanese POWs in Siberia, Unfinished Tragedy [シベリア抑留 ― 未完の 悲劇]
By Toshio Kurihara [栗原 俊雄], Iwanami Shinsho [岩波新書], 2009, 211 pages, 735 yen, ISBN-10: 4004312078. Review by Fumiko Halloran. On 9 August 1945, six days before Japan’s surrender to the Allied forces in World War II, the Soviet Army began a massive attack on Japan’s Kwantung Army [関東軍] in Manchuria [満州国] in northeast China. Some […]
BooksTokyo Commute, Japanese Customs and way of Life viewed from the Odakyu Line
By A. Robert Lee with line compositions in colour by Yuriko Yamamoto, Renaissance Books, Folkestone, 2011, 214 pages including glossary, £16.00, ISBN 978-1-89823-06-3. Review for the Japan Society by Sir Hugh Cortazzi. This is a fun book containing amusing vignettes. Readers who have lived in the Tokyo suburbs and commuted daily on one of the […]
BooksReimagining Japan The Quest for a Future That Works
Edited by McKinsey & Company (Executive editors: Clay Chandler, Heang Chhor, and Brian Salsberg), VIZ Media, LLC, San Francisco, 2011, 448 pages including a large number of photographs, US$38.99, ISBN 13:978-1-4215-4086-3 and ISBN10: 1-4215-4086-X. Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi. This book brings together essays about Japan and its future by almost ninety different authors.
Films & SeriesAkunin [Villain] [悪人]
Directed by Sang-il Lee (李相日), 2010, 139 minutes Review by Susan Meehan. It is five years since the release of Sang-il Lee’s hugely enjoyable Hula Girls [read our review on issue 11], a Full Monty-style feel-good film replete with social commentary and the only one of his works I’d seen. I was, naturally, looking […]