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.
Theatre & StageSputnik Sweetheart
Directed by Melly Still Based on the novel Sputnik Sweetheart by Murakami Haruki, this stage adaptation by Bryony Lavery demonstrates the malleable power of the theatre as a storytelling medium. Review by Michael Tsang
Issues (PDF)Issue 102 (October 2023, Volume 18, Number 2)
The autumn season offers an excellent opportunity to spend more time reading books or watching films at home. The October issue of The Japan Society Review is here with some suggestions for you to enjoy in the warmest spot of the house watching the rain from the window.
BooksMy Families and Other Samurai: A Memoir
By Fukuda Haruko Told with the crisp, breezy matter-of-factness of a historian, the emotion nevertheless comes through strongest in the remarkable vividity in which Fukuda’s family story is conveyed in the text. Review by Laurence Green
Theatre & StageThe Garden of Words
Whole Hog Theatre in association with Park Theatre Based on the stereotype-defying anime and novel from world-renowned filmmaker Shinkai Makoto, The Garden of Words presents a refreshing and original take on the story of the serendipitous encounter between two social misfits. Review by Laurence Green
Films & SeriesDrive My Car
Directed by Hamaguchi Ryusuke Based on a Murakami Haruki’s story, Oscar winning film Drive My Car explores issues related to individual, national and international trauma through a curated film style and aesthetics. Review by Michael Tsang
BooksHoneybees and Distant Thunder
By Onda Riku Honeybees and Distant Thunder is an intriguing story about an international piano competition and its wide variety of competitors. Review by George Mullins
BooksManga, Murder and Mystery - The Boy Detectives of Japan’s Lost Generation
By Okabe Mimi An academic tome to its core, Manga, Murder and Mystery is nevertheless a thrillingly accessible read that will delight fans of its subject matter, as well as those coming to it through a passing interest in Japan in general, or detective fiction as a wider oeuvre. Review by Laurence Green
Issues (PDF)Issue 101 (August 2023, Volume 18, Number 1)
The Japan Society Review is Back! After a hiatus of one year since our celebration of the 100th issue of the publication, The Japan Society Review returns full of energy and great content, featuring books on Japanese design, gardens and traditions, as well as literary fiction and contemporary music made in Japan.
BooksThe Country Where Turtles Cry: Climate and Poetry of Japan
By Nakanishi Susumu In The Country Where Turtles Cry: Climate and Poetry of Japan, Nakanishi focuses on different aspects and forms of Japanese traditional poetry, from waka (the original word for Japanese poem) to tanka (short poems) and haiku, sharing insights about its history and cultural influence in Japan and beyond. Review by Renae Lucas-Hall