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Issue 103 (December 2023, Volume 18, Number 3)

Issue 103 (December 2023, Volume 18, Number 3)

Welcome to the December issue of The Japan Society Review! We are finishing 2023 with a great selection of literary works, from classic authors to new voices, from short stories to long historical novels, and the comeback of the iconic Godzilla. We hope you all have enjoyed our reviews this year and would like to thank once again our dedicated reviewers for their work. From 2024, The Japan Society Review will be switching from a bimonthly to a quarterly publication, but will still include stimulating suggestions to read, watch and learn more about/from Japan. Please let us know if you have any recommendations of books, films, plays, exhibitions, or events to review. We are always open to ideas and feedback from our readers.

The issue opens with a review of one of the most beloved classics of modern Japanese literature, Night Train to the Stars by Miyazawa Kenji. A collection of short stories, Miyazawa’s fairy tales and fables captivate readers with unforgettable characters and descriptions of nature, while also offering insights into Japanese society, folklore and traditions. The issue also includes reviews of three works written by women showcasing the wide range of topics, styles and concerns of contemporary female writers. The monumental The End of August, from the author of Tokyo Ueno Station, Yu Miri, explores the history, trauma and identity conflicts of the Korean population in Japan through a semi-autobiographical story. Trinity, Trinity, Trinity by Kobayashi Erika constructs a dystopian world where dementia, memory and the invisible thread of nuclear radiation are all intertwined. The short story of Sasayama by Nadifa Mohamed, originally published in Granta in 2014, details the young writer’s experience of a summer in Sasayama, a rural city in Hyogo prefecture, and her reflections as a black woman in Japan.

The last pages of the December issue feature a review of the last instalment in the legendary film saga of Godzilla. Godzilla Minus One, directed by Yamazaki Takashi, returns to its origins in the postwar era, delivering a message that is at once hopeful and subversive.



Alejandra Armendariz-Hernandez

Chris Corker, Laurence Green, Renae Lucas-Hall and Azmina Sohail..

Image: Detail from the cover of Night Train to the Stars.

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