Issue 27

Editor: Sean Curtin
Managing Editor: John Toppon

Since the last issue both Japan and the UK have new Prime Ministers, although some might argue that each country’s fortunes in the World Cup had a bigger impact on the national psyche. We reviewed several Japanese language books on now former PM Yukio Hatoyama in issue 22 and hope to soon bring you a review of one of the recently published books on Naoto Kan.

This issue’s feature reviews focus on the war and its aftermath, a much more turbulent and complex time than the current political upheavals. Sir Hugh Cortazzi looks at a fascinating new book Demystifying Pearl Harbor? A New Perspective from Japan. It is an English translation of Takeo Iguchi’s acclaimed 2009 book Kaisen Shinwa.

Next, we shine a clinical spotlight on Caroline Rose’s excellently researched Sino-Japanese Relations: Facing the Past, Looking to the Future? Dr. Rose examines the long shadow cast over Sino-Japanese relations by historical disputes about the war and its impact on the postwar era.

Akira Sugino, in his first review for us, takes an emotive look at a thought-provoking Japanese language book I Survived For All That. It comprises a series of memoirs and oral histories given by six former British soldiers who had languished in Japanese POW Camps.

In an in-depth review Kiyoshi Ikemi analyzes the collaborative work When Rover Met Honda, which charts the successful 15-year partnership between two car industry giants. The book explores the gripping saga of how Eastern and Western car manufacturing methods were able to harmoniously blend to create a winning formula. It also details how this fruitful venture was prematurely terminated.

Susan Meehan looks at the immensely popular Kamome Diner, an enchanting, captivating and beautifully-acted Japanese-Finnish flick (also see our review in Issue 13).

Adam House gives us his take on Hyperart: Thomasson, an alternative book which looks at the surreal in the world of the real.

Our final review Prince and Princess Chichibu explores the lives of an international imperial couple. English-speaking Prince Chichibu was the second son of the Taisho Emperor and a younger brother of the Showa Emperor. Princess Chichibu, who was known as Setsuko Matsudaira before marriage, was born in Walton on Thames, England in 1909. Her father, Tsuneo Matsudaira, was a top Japanese diplomat, who served as ambassador to the United States (from 1924) and later to Great Britain (from 1928). She had a very international upbringing and during the period her father was US ambassador, she studied at the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. (1925-1928). The imperial couple’s griping life story captures the dilemmas many faced during the war.

Sean Curtin

We are grateful to our regular reviewers:

Sir Hugh Cortazzi
Simon Cotterill
William Farr
Fumiko Halloran
Mikihiro Maeda
Susan Meehan
Takahiro Miyao
Ian Nish
Ben-Ami Shillony
Tomohiko Taniguchi.

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06 Aug 10
Hyperart: Thomasson

Hyperart: Thomasson

Hyperart: Thomasson, by Genpei Akasegawa, translated by Matt Fargo, Kaya Press, 2010, 352pages, ISBN:9781885030467

Prince and Princess Chichibu, Two Lives Lived Above and Below the Clouds

Prince and Princess Chichibu, Two Lives Lived Above and Below the Clouds

Prince and Princess Chichibu, Two Lives Lived Above and Below the Clouds, by Dorothy Britton, Global Oriental 2010, 223 including index, ISBN 978-1-905246-24-3

Demystifying Pearl Harbor – A New Perspective from Japan

Demystifying Pearl Harbor – A New Perspective from Japan

Takeo Iguchi, translated by David Noble, 343 pages including index and bibliography, I-House Press, Tokyo, 2010, ISBN 978-4-903452-19-7

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