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 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

Fake

Films

Fake

Directed by Mori Tatsuya Samuragochi Mamoru is a figure buried in infamy in the Japanese media. He became a familiar name as the composer of music in a romantic style, but what really got him prominence in media stories [...] Review by Roger Macy

Robo Sapiens Japanicus. Robots, Gender, Family, and the Japanese Nation

Books

Robo Sapiens Japanicus. Robots, Gender, Family, and the Japanese Nation

By Jennifer Robertson In the mid-1920s, the word “robot” (robotto) was coined as Japan began to embrace the possibilities and potential of human-robot coexistence. This book is an ethnography and sociohistorical analysis that [...] Review by Riyoko Shibe and Paul Tebble

Spaces in Translation – Japanese Gardens and the West

Books

Spaces in Translation – Japanese Gardens and the West

By Christian Tagsold The title comes from Dr Tagsold's habilitation thesis and it has now been developed in a new book. It comprises nine chapters with each chapter starting with a ‘stroll through a garden’ – a delightful technique [...] Review by Ian Chrystie

The State of the Japanese State: Contested Identity, Direction and Role

Books

The State of the Japanese State: Contested Identity, Direction and Role

By Gavan McCormack The present work brings his scholarship to bear on the successive governments of Abe Shinzo (2006-7 and 2012 to the present). He regards the rise to power of Abe as based on two right wing [...] Review by Arthur Stockwin

Shapeshifter

Events

Shapeshifter

By Yamashiro Chikako The forced cohabitation with American forces, very unwelcomed by the Okinawans, is the main preoccupation of Yamashiro Chikako’s work, on show under the title of Shapeshifter at White Rainbow’s non-profit [...] Review by Silvia Caso

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