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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.

Flower Petals Fall, but the Flower Endures: The Japanese Philosophy of Transience

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Flower Petals Fall, but the Flower Endures: The Japanese Philosophy of Transience

By Seiichi Takeuchi The Japanese philosophy of impermanence is the subtitle and the core of the book, but I felt the meat of the content only spoke to one aspect of impermanence, the vicissitudes of life buffeting our self-determinations. Review by Chris Arning

Tokachi Millennium Forest: Pioneering a New Way of Gardening with Nature

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Tokachi Millennium Forest: Pioneering a New Way of Gardening with Nature

By Dan Pearson with Midori Shintani This book charts the design, creation and evolution of the Tokachi Millennium Forest, which the author has been involved with for the last 20 years. Review by Katie Croft

Revolution Goes East: Imperial Japan and Soviet Communism

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Revolution Goes East: Imperial Japan and Soviet Communism

By Tatiana Linkhoeva 'Revolution Goes East' is a remarkable study that aims to deepen our understanding of both Japanese modern history and the global history of the Russian Revolution. Review by Francesco Cioffo

The Power of Chowa

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The Power of Chowa

By Tanaka Akemi 'The Power of Chowa' manages to share something functional yet provocative, centring the importance of the concept of chowa as a key notion to find balance and harmony in our lives, relationships, and society. Review by Yuka Harada-Parr

No Sushi

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No Sushi

By Andrew Kojima This is an interesting and enjoyable book, following one man’s journey to becoming a successful chef and restaurateur, now sharing his Japanese food heritage with his customers. Review by Ann Morrison

The Call of Japan: A Continuing Story - 1950 to the Present Day

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The Call of Japan: A Continuing Story - 1950 to the Present Day

By Hans Brinckmann Part personal memoir, part professional flashback, part socio-cultural commentary, The Call of Japan chronicles the author’s experiences during his 40 years of living in Japan, from 1950 to 1974 as a ‘reluctant banker’, and from 2003 to the present as a writer. Review by Roger Buckley

One Love Chigusa

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One Love Chigusa

By Shimada Soji A kind of MTV-esque ‘greatest hits’ melange of science-fiction tropes rendered into a bullet-like, postmodernist package; taken as a whole it makes a riveting statement as a Frankenstein for our After-Corona age. Electrifying stuff. Review by Laurence Green

The Iconoclast: Shinzo Abe and the New Japan

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The Iconoclast: Shinzo Abe and the New Japan

By Tobias S. Harris With Abe Shinzo’s sudden resignation as prime minister, again on health grounds as after his first short period in office in 2007, it is right to ask what historians will think of him. This comprehensive and clearly written biography is the first book in English to offer answers about what made Abe Shinzo become Japan's longest-serving prime minister. Review by Bill Emmott

Breasts and Eggs

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Breasts and Eggs

By Kawakami Mieko Kawakami Mieko's epic novel zooms in on the experience of women, in particular three working-class women from Osaka. The novel was originally published as two separate books, now reunited in translation as one novel of two parts. Review by Susan Meehan

The World of Ito Jakuchu - Classical Japanese Painter of All Things Great and Small in Nature

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The World of Ito Jakuchu - Classical Japanese Painter of All Things Great and Small in Nature

By Sato Yasuhiro (Translated by Michael Brase) This timely volume sets forth the case for Edo-era painter Ito Jakuchu (1716-1800), known by his precise observation of nature. Among his most celebrated artworks is the Colourful Realm of Living Beings - a thirty scroll sequence donated by the artist to Kyoto's Shokokuji temple in 1765. Review by Laurence Green