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.

Usagi Yojimbo

Theatre & Stage

Usagi Yojimbo

Directed by Amy Draper Usagi Yojimbo, presents an adventurous rabbit samurai and teaches us of war, responsibility and honour in Edo period Japan – austere subjects made delightfully light with the addition of rabbit ears. Review by Annabelle Sami

SIRO-A

Theatre & Stage

SIRO-A

SIRO-A are a six member group originally from Sendai. Their unusual performance can only be described as an amazing blend of dance, music and technology, as the boundaries between [...] Review by Michael Sullivan

Anjin: The Shogun and The English Samurai

Theatre & Stage

Anjin: The Shogun and The English Samurai

By Mike Poulton with Sho Kawai This inspiring play brings his story to life in a production written by Mike Poulton and Shoichiro Kawai, and directed by Gregory Doran (Royal Shakespeare Company’s Artistic Director). An international supporting cast includes [...] Review by Michael Sullivan

Anjin: The Shogun and The English Samurai

Theatre & Stage

Anjin: The Shogun and The English Samurai

By Mike Poulton with Sho Kawai This production opened on 31 January, the date of Ieyasu Tokugawa’s birthday, marking 420 years since his birth. It is a completely bilingual production combining the talent of [...] Review by Susan Meehan

Cymbeline

Theatre & Stage

Cymbeline

By William Shakespeare (Yukio Ninagawa’s production at the Barbican, London, 29 May 2012 to 2 June 2012) Review by Susan Meehan I was expecting this version of Cymbeline to display Yukio Ninagawa’s trademarks – unparalleled stage scenery, plush costumes and a magical ending. I was not disappointed. However, having recently enjoyed 11 Shakespeare plays […]

The Chichibu Mikado

Theatre & Stage

The Chichibu Mikado

Review by Sean Curtin For the first time ever a Japanese theater company came to the UK to perform the Mikado in Japanese to an enthusiastic British audience. The lively and brilliantly colourful production was part of the 2006 International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in Buxton, Derby. It perfectly blended Japanese and British elements to create an astonishingly successful hybrid which was true to the original, while incorporating some crowd-pleasing Japanese innovations.

Titus Andronicus

Theatre & Stage

Titus Andronicus

Review by Sean Curtin As part of the Royal Shakespeare Company's the Complete Works Festival, legendary director Yukio Ninagawa's Japanese language production of Shakespeare's bloodiest play was transported around the globe to Stratford-upon-Avon for just ten performances. Although Titus Andronicus is not so frequently performed, it's a strangely compelling tale of intense violence and horrific retribution. Ninagawa masterfully utilizes these extremes to create a brilliant new interpretation which creates the illusion that Japanese is Shakespeare's original language.