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 Bear and the Paving Stone

Books

The Bear and the Paving Stone

By Horie Toshiyuki The Bear and the Paving Stone (translated by Geraint Howells) is a collection of three works by award-winning author Horie Toshiyuki. The titular story, winner of the Akutagawa Prize in 2000, consumes most [...] Review by Harry Martin

The Quick Guide to Traditional Japanese Arts and Handicrafts

Books

The Quick Guide to Traditional Japanese Arts and Handicrafts

By Kameda Naoki, Sangu Yuko and Catherine Nakamichi A book which should be considered a living national treasure for its importance in the preservation of Japan’s rich cultural heritage. Here each craft, shrine, and custom is explained in both Japanese and English. Review by Holly Helt

Van Gogh & Japan

Books

Van Gogh & Japan

The scholarly essays in this catalogue include ‘The beginnings of the “Japanese Dream”: Van Gogh’s acquaintance with Japan’, ‘In the light of Japan: Van Gogh’s quest for happiness and a modern identity’, [...] Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi

Return from Siberia. A Japanese Life in War and Peace, 1925-2015

Books

Return from Siberia. A Japanese Life in War and Peace, 1925-2015

By Oguma Eiji This is the story of a Japanese man who has no particular claim to fame. He had a tough time before, during and after the war. Its interest lies primarily in the light it throws on how ordinary Japanese coped in war. Review by Sir Hugh Cortazzi

Convenience Store Woman

Books

Convenience Store Woman

By Murata Sayaka Convenience Store Woman is a book of deftly crafted paradoxes that hold a haunting mirror up to both Japanese and Western societies. The protagonist, Furukura Keiko, is a numb character depicted in bare [...] Review by Beau Waycott

Lansdowne: The Last Great Whig

Books

Lansdowne: The Last Great Whig

By Simon Kerry For those interested in Japan the 5th Marquess of Lansdowne is best known as the Foreign Secretary who negotiated for Britain in talks that led to the Anglo-Japanese alliance. In this volume Simon Kerry has [...] Review by Antony Best

Good Night Papa: Short Stories from Japan and Elsewhere

Books

Good Night Papa: Short Stories from Japan and Elsewhere

By Simon Rowe As the name would suggest, this is an eclectic anthology of works written by the Japan-based writer Simon Rowe, covering diverse topics and exotic geographies including Japan, Australia, Indonesia [...] Review by Harry Martin

The Tokyo Express

Books

The Tokyo Express

By Una Rose The Tokyo Express is the self-published debut novel of Anglo-Irish writer Una Rose. Taking inspiration from her time in Japan and her Irish heritage, Una has encased her story within these distant cultures [...] Review by Harry Martin

Fukushima Dreams

Books

Fukushima Dreams

By Zelda Rhiando Irish writer Zelda Rhiando follows up her self-published debut book Caposcripti with this deeply unsettling novel, set in the aftermath of the 2011 disaster. The book came into being after crowdfunding [...] Review by Poppy Cosyns

Georges Bigot and Japan,1882-1899: Satirist, Illustrator and Artist Extraordinaire

Books

Georges Bigot and Japan,1882-1899: Satirist, Illustrator and Artist Extraordinaire

By Christian Polak with Hugh Cortazzi The French artist Georges Bigot (1860-1927) is not a household name in France or in England, but he certainly is in Japan, for Japanese schoolchildren see some of his caricatures in their textbooks. Review by Peter Kornicki