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.

The Dismantling of Japan’s Empire in East Asia

Books

The Dismantling of Japan’s Empire in East Asia

Edited by Barak Kushner and Sherzod Muminov A widespread view has been that the Japanese Empire became an entirely closed chapter after August 1945, when it collapsed abruptly at the end of World War II. The subject has gained renewed interest [...] Review by Roger Macy

Ms Ice Sandwich

Books

Ms Ice Sandwich

By Kawakami Mieko The plot revolves around an unnamed boy and his everyday life in his family’s house. His father died when he was younger and he now lives with his bed-ridden grandmother and his mother, who is busy [...] Review by Morgane Chinal-Dargent

The Great Wave

Theatre & Stage

The Great Wave

Directed by Indhu Rubasingham, written by Francis Turnly What at first appears to be a conventional family drama, soon develops into something of global significance in Japanese-Northern Irish playwright Francis Turnly’s latest work for the stage. The play begins [...] Review by Poppy Cosyns

Seventeen

Books

Seventeen

By Yokoyama Hideo Yokoyama was a journalist at a local newspaper in 1985 and was one of those who went to the JAL flight 123 crash site. It took him 17 years to reach a point where he could fully come to terms with his experiences. Review by Dr Christopher Hood

Sennan Asbestos Disaster

Films

Sennan Asbestos Disaster

Directed by Hara Kazuo Hara’s film gives the briefest of briefings on the historical background before spending nearly all of its four hours following a group of ex-workers during their eight-year struggle to get compensation from [...] Review by Roger Macy

The Dark Maidens

Films

The Dark Maidens

Directed by Yakumo Seiji The story is set in the prestigious all-girls Virgin Mary Christian academy where we find our main characters; the members of the literary club chaired by the principal’s daughter Itsumi. She is admired and [...] Review by Morgane Chinal-Dargent

My Falling Down House

Books

My Falling Down House

By Jayne Joso It is difficult to say whether Joso’s masterful My Falling Down House is an advertisement for, or a warning against, isolation from society. It follows the thoughts, dreams and humble adventures of Tanaka Takeo [...] Review by Alice French

Echoes: Writers in Kyoto Anthology 2017

Books

Echoes: Writers in Kyoto Anthology 2017

Edited by John Dougill,‎ Amy Chavez and Mark Richardson Echoes is a compilation of short stories (fact and fiction), poems and literary extracts which draw on individual experiences and the personal influence Kyoto has exerted on a selection of writers who have lived [...] Review by Harry Martin

Japanese Girls Never Die

Films

Japanese Girls Never Die

Directed by Matsui Daigo The film focuses on the disappearance of Azumi Haruko (Aoi Yu), a 27 years old woman who lives in a suburban city and shares her house with her mother, father and grand-mother. She works as an office lady [...] Review by Morgane Chinal-Dargent

The Japanese Garden

Books

The Japanese Garden

By Sophie Walker Those who have had the pleasure of visiting gardens in Japan will know what a wonderful experience it can be. Walker's focus is ‘not on the history or scholarship of the many types of Japanese garden, but [...] Review by Graham Hardman