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.

Japan’s WWII Legacy: Interviews with Japanese Veterans

Books

Japan’s WWII Legacy: Interviews with Japanese Veterans

By Hiroko Sherwin Hiroko Sherwin’s book Japan’s WWII Legacy is a well-timed contribution to help the reader re-discover how WWII has shaped, and still shapes, the lives of many. Written from the perspective of Japanese [...] Review by Francesco Cioffo

The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated

Books

The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated

By John T. Carpenter, Melissa McCormick with Monika Bincsik, Kyoko Kinoshita It is customary to refer to the Tale of Genji as the world’s first psychological novel. The case can be argued, for over the course of its 54 chapters, the reader follows the lives, states of mind and [...] Review by Timon Screech

The Idiot

Theatre & Stage

The Idiot

Danced by Teshigawara Saburo and Sato Rihoko In the almost-darkness, there is a flicker of something beast-like, the sound of scurrying. A whisper of a tail, a tail too long to belong to anything other than something monstrous. Later, we discover it is a [...] Review by Alice Baldock

Bridge to the Gods: Tales from Kyushu

Books

Bridge to the Gods: Tales from Kyushu

By Andrew Thomson To the collection of published, and generally scholarly, books on Kyushu comes this welcome addition of Andrew Thomson’s non-academic 2018 memoir, Bridge to the Gods. Andrew, son of the Australian golfer [...] Review by Trevor Skingle

An Interview with filmmaker and writer Kawamura Genki

Events

An Interview with filmmaker and writer Kawamura Genki

Morgane Chinal-Dargent interviews Kawamura Genki, the talented writer behind If Cats Disappeared From The World and Japan’s leading producer behind Your Name on being a storyteller and seeking your own story. Interview by Morgane Chinal-Dargent

Switched – TV show

Films

Switched – TV show

Directed by Matsuyama Hiroaki If you haven’t already heard of Netflix’s latest obsession, Japanese drama Switched, you will probably not be prepared for the exhilarating, beautiful and horrifying ride you are about to embark, thanks to [...] Review by Severah Noureen Akhtar

Flight Paths

Theatre & Stage

Flight Paths

Co-directed by Maria Oshodi & Kumiko Mendl, written by Glen Neath Flight Paths brings together two pioneering theatre companies, Extant and Yellow Earth Theatre. Amelia and Sarah step onto the set, a flight departure lounge. Have they arrived from Japan? They seem to [...] Review by Susan Meehan

The Courage to Be Disliked

Books

The Courage to Be Disliked

By Kishimi Ichiro and Koga Fumitake The Courage to Be Disliked promises to show readers ‘How to free yourself, change your life and achieve real happiness’. This book fits most neatly into the self-help genre. It would, however, not be out of [...] Review by Charlotte Goff

A Shameful Life

Books

A Shameful Life

By Dazai Osamu The short novella follows the inner confessions of an outwardly jovial, but deeply troubled protagonist. Readers are transported behind the façade of young Oba Yozo, an alcoholic Tokyoite that fails to relate [...] Review by George Mullins

Shoplifters

Films

Shoplifters

Directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu Kore-eda Hirokazu’s latest outstanding film Shoplifters confirms the unbelievable talent with which the director depicts the beauty and tenderness of the broken ways in which family unite functions with [...] Review by Morgane Chinal-Dargent