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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.

Portraits of Chōgen, The Transformation of Buddhist Art in early Medieval Japan

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Portraits of Chōgen, The Transformation of Buddhist Art in early Medieval Japan

The title of this book gives only a hint of the scope of this masterly study. It focuses on the life and work of the Buddhist priest Chōgen重源(1121-1206). It covers the development of portraiture in East Asia, efforts to rebuild the Great Buddha of Tōdaiji 東大寺 following its destruction under the Genpei war, and the development of Buddhist sculpture in Nara and Kyoto.

Great Living – In the Pure Encounter Between Master and Disciple

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Great Living – In the Pure Encounter Between Master and Disciple

Great Living – In the Pure Encounter Between Master and Disciple – is a volume of essays and commentaries on the Japanese spiritual classic, the Tannisho (歎異抄), in a new English language translation for a western audience. The Tannisho is the most famous text of the Japanese Jodo Shinshu [浄土真宗] – True Pure Land School.

Japanese Shipping and Shipbuilding in the Twentieth Century, The Writings of Peter N. Davies

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Japanese Shipping and Shipbuilding in the Twentieth Century, The Writings of Peter N. Davies

This book consists of a series of studies about Japanese shipping and shipbuilding. These are of interest to anyone specialising in Japanese economic history. It includes chapters on the rise of Japan’s modern shipping industry, the development of Japanese shipping industries in post-war Japan, Japan’s merchant marine and Japanese shipbuilding.

Japanesque: The Japanese Print in the Era of Impressionism

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Japanesque: The Japanese Print in the Era of Impressionism

This book is much more than a catalogue (see note 1). Karin Breuer outlines firstly the origins and development of the Japanese prints. The author then describes the aesthetics of ukiyo-e. This is followed by a discussion of “European Artists and Japonisme.” The last chapter is devoted to “the Japanese style in American Printmaking.”

A New History of Shinto

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A New History of Shinto

John Breen and Mark Teeuwen, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010, 264 pages including index and list of references, $31.95, ISBN 978-1-4051-5516-8 (soft back) Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi The first two chapters of A New History of Shinto provide a perspective of the development of Shinto in Japan. The book then has a full account of the Hie […]

Japonisme and the Rise of the Modern Art Movement: The Arts of the Meiji Period, The Khalili Collect

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Japonisme and the Rise of the Modern Art Movement: The Arts of the Meiji Period, The Khalili Collect

Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi.

The Meiji Restoration, Monarchism, Mass Communication and Conservative Revolution

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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.