The Japan Society
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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.

The Hole

Books

The Hole

By Oyamada Hiroko 'The Hole' further develops Oyamada's trademark bizarreness, combining the precision and mundanity of daily life with the fantastical and incomprehensible to a suitably confusing effect. Review by Alex Russell

The Japanese Myths: A Guide to Gods, Heroes, and Spirits

Books

The Japanese Myths: A Guide to Gods, Heroes, and Spirits

By Joshua Frydman This book is a wonderful guide to an enduring fascination with stories and the supernatural in Japan. Frydman’s explanations prove mythology acts as a compass to guide past, present and future generations. Review by Renae Lucas-Hall

Designing Modern Japan

Books

Designing Modern Japan

By Sarah Teasley Designing Modern Japan is jargon free, easy to read and a thoroughly researched book, packed full of great illustrations that take us on a journey from the middle of the 19th century to present day. Review by David Tonge

All the Lovers in the Night

Books

All the Lovers in the Night

By Kawakami Mieko On the whole, All the Lovers in the Night is a novel which will draw you in with its poetry and prose, and make you dissect it line by line in much the same way as its protagonist does in her work. Review by Cameron Bassindale

Terminal Boredom

Books

Terminal Boredom

By Suzuki Izumi Taken as a whole, Terminal Boredom comes on like a high-intensity cocktail of distinctly bizarre tales that invariably, through a particularly slanted, satire-driven look at issues of gender, sex and drug use, force us to see the familiar from new, compelling angles. Review by Laurence Green

Woman Running in the Mountains

Books

Woman Running in the Mountains

By Tsushima Yuko The New York Review of Books’ edition of Woman Running in the Mountains is simultaneously a novel that you could recommend to a first time reader of Japanese literature, and to a seasoned longtime lover who feels they’ve read everything there is to offer from those works available in English translation. Review by Laurence Green

Fish Swimming In Dappled Sunlight

Books

Fish Swimming In Dappled Sunlight

By Onda Riku Time and again, Onda Riku forces us to confront the ugly truths behind the questions: Who are we really? What drives us to act the way we do? And can we ever know the inner thoughts of another? Review by Laurence Green

Of Arcs and Circles: Insights from Japan on Gardens, Nature, and Art

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Of Arcs and Circles: Insights from Japan on Gardens, Nature, and Art

By Marc Peter Keane From his vantage point as a garden designer and writer based in Kyoto, Marc Peter Keane examines the world around him and delivers astonishing insights through an array of narratives. Review by Katie Croft

The Wagamama Bride: A Jewish Family Saga Made in Japan

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The Wagamama Bride: A Jewish Family Saga Made in Japan

By Liane Grunberg Wakabayashi This compelling and insightful memoir reads like a classic love story full of trials and tribulations. Liane Grunberg Wakabayashi’s spiritual journey in Japan from secular to orthodox Judaism is a reflection on transformation, relationships, family values, finding happiness, and being true to oneself. Review by Renae Lucas-Hall

Murakami T: The T-Shirts I Love

Books

Murakami T: The T-Shirts I Love

By Murakami Haruki Murakami T: The T-Shirts I Love is an ode to that most humble item of clothing, as the author takes us through a selection of some of the favourites from his own personal wardrobe Review by Laurence Green