The Japan Society
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The Japan Society Review

The Japan Society Review is published on a quartely 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.

The Library of Heartbeats

Books

The Library of Heartbeats

By Laura Imai Messina In The Library of Heartbeats, the heart stands out as the central theme, infusing this charismatic tale with depth and resonance. Review by Renae Lucas-Hall

The Meiji Guillotine Murders

Books

The Meiji Guillotine Murders

By Yamada Futaro Set in 1869, two decades after the Black Ships forcibly lifted Japan’s policy of isolationism and Western ideas began to flow into the country, The Meiji Guillotine Murders takes place in a fraught but fascinating time of clashing institutions and ideologies Review by Chris Corker

Mongrel

Books

Mongrel

By Hanako Footman Hanako Footman’s debut novel, Mongrel, follows parallel stories of three Japanese women: Mei, biracial and living in Surrey, Yuki, a musician in London and Haruka a hostess in Tokyo. Review by Shehrazade Zafar-Arif

The Light of Asia

Books

The Light of Asia

By Christopher Harding ‘What is real? Who says? How should we live?’ - These are the three questions that lie at the core of Christopher Harding’s eminently readable effort on Asia, expanding the scope of his previous books focused on Japan to now encompass the continent as a whole. Review by Laurence Green

Japanese Fighting Heroes: Warriors, Samurai and Ronins

Books

Japanese Fighting Heroes: Warriors, Samurai and Ronins

By Jamie Ryder This multi-layered book by the founder of Yamato magazine, is difficult to categorise but it certainly is informative and thoroughly enjoyable offering a series of reviews of personalities in their factual historical, and occasionally mythological, contexts. Review by Trevor Skingle

The Last Yakuza

Books

The Last Yakuza

By Jake Adelstein Written with the insight of an expert on Japanese organised crime, investigative journalist Jake Adelstein presents a biography of a yakuza, through post-war desperation, to bubble-era optimism, to the present. Review by Trevor Skingle

The Japanese House Since 1945

Books

The Japanese House Since 1945

By Naomi Pollock The Japanese House Since 1945 is a large format 400 page book that takes us on a journey through architect-designed houses built in Japan from 1945 to the present. Review by David Tonge

100 Tales from the Tokyo Ghost Café

Books

100 Tales from the Tokyo Ghost Café

By Julian Sedgwick A ghostly journey through Northern Japan in search of yokai monsters and the Otherworld, told equally in manga and prose. Review by Hananircia Tchinhenha

The Martyr and the Red Kimono

Books

The Martyr and the Red Kimono

By Abe Naoko The winning charm of Abe’s book is the epic scale of its historical lens, which draws so much of its power from human subjects that lived through the full panoply of change our world underwent through the 20th century. Review by Laurence Green

Off the beaten Tracks in Japan

Books

Off the beaten Tracks in Japan

By John Dougill In "Off the beaten Tracks in Japan", John Dougill provides an excellent account of his journey by train from the Northern most point of Japan in Hokkaido to the Southern tip of Kyushu. Review by George Mullins