Issue 66 (Dec)

Welcome to the December issue of the Japan Society Review. The Review could never claim, or attempt, to give an exhaustive account of the latest Japan-related publications and performances in the UK, but looking back on the books, films, artists and performances featured in this publication throughout 2016 does give an impression of the healthy level of interest in Japan in Britain. This issue is no different with reviews of new historical fiction, theatre, biography and music.

The Shogun’s Queen is the final novel in Lesley Downer’s quartet on the political and human consequences of the ‘re-opening’ of Japan and the end of the Edo period, a period that Downer presents through the eyes of its women. In her review, Elizabeth Ingrams tells us that The Shogun’s Queen makes for a suitably dramatic climax to the series.

Throughout 2016, the Japan Foundation, in collaboration with Yellow Earth and StoneCrabs Theatre Company, has presented a monthly series of events, introducing UK audiences to the work of some of Japan’s outstanding contemporary playwrights, all of which have been heard in English for the first time. September’s edition featured Suzuki Atsuto’s Global Baby Factory, and in her review Susan Meehan leaves us in no doubt that Suzuki’s vibrant, cosmopolitan style transfers very well to the British stage.

At ninety-four years of age, historian Donald Keene is showing little sign of slowing down. In his latest monograph he ensures that Ishikawa Takuboku, one of Japan’s great yet neglected – particularly domestically – writers, receives his proper recognition in English language scholarship.

On the subject of due recognition, it is always inspiring to read about contributions, often unsung, to the understanding of Japan in the UK. In Bridges we hear from ten distinguished personalities at the heart of the UK-Japan relationship.

Lastly, Annabelle Sami reviews a performance by Kero Kero Bonito. This London three-piece brings a high level of both musicality and irreverence to J-pop, a genre not normally associated with London’s thriving alternative music scene.

William Upton

Contents

  1. The Shogun’s Queen by Lesley Downer
  2. Global Baby Factory by Suzuki Atsuto
  3. The First Modern Japanese: The Life of Ishikawa Takuboku by Donald Keene
  4. Bridges: Anglo-Japanese Cultural Pioneers, 1945 to 2015 edited by Suzanne Perrin and Jeremy Hoare
  5. Kero Kero Bonito at Scala, London

Editor
William Upton

Reviewers
Sir Hugh Cortazzi, Elizabeth Ingrams, Susan Meehan and Annabelle Sami

Share
  • Upcoming Events

    « December 2019 » loading...
    Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    6
    7
    8
    9
    10
    11
    12
    13
    14
    15
    16
    17
    18
    19
    20
    21
    22
    23
    24
    25
    26
    27
    28
    29
    30
    31
  • Contact

    Email Us

    Tel: 020 7935 0475

    The Japan Society
    13/14 Cornwall Terrace
    London NW1 4QP