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.

Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan

Films & Series

Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan

Directed by Stephen Scott for Netflix A six-part Netflix historical documentary series, Age of Samurai retells the final decades of the Sengoku Jidai, a 150-year period of near continuous civil war, examining the reunification of Japan through the rise of three figures: Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu. Review by Riyoko Shibe

Ainu Mosir

Films & Series

Ainu Mosir

Written and directed by Fukunaga Takeshi Ainu Mosir is a sensitively filmed slice of contemporary Ainu life, as well as a rites-of-passage story set in Lake Akan Ainu Village in Kushiro City, Hokkaido. Review by Susan Meehan

Switched

Films & Series

Switched

Directed by Matsuyama Hiroaki If you haven’t already heard of Netflix’s latest obsession, Japanese drama Switched, you will probably not be prepared for the exhilarating, beautiful and horrifying ride you are about to embark, thanks to [...] Review by Severah Noureen Akhtar

Shoplifters

Films & Series

Shoplifters

Directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu Kore-eda Hirokazu’s latest outstanding film Shoplifters confirms the unbelievable talent with which the director depicts the beauty and tenderness of the broken ways in which family unite functions with [...] Review by Morgane Chinal-Dargent

Fake

Films & Series

Fake

Directed by Mori Tatsuya Samuragochi Mamoru is a figure buried in infamy in the Japanese media. He became a familiar name as the composer of music in a romantic style, but what really got him prominence in media stories [...] Review by Roger Macy

Sennan Asbestos Disaster

Films & Series

Sennan Asbestos Disaster

Directed by Hara Kazuo Hara’s film gives the briefest of briefings on the historical background before spending nearly all of its four hours following a group of ex-workers during their eight-year struggle to get compensation from [...] Review by Roger Macy

The Dark Maidens

Films & Series

The Dark Maidens

Directed by Yakumo Seiji The story is set in the prestigious all-girls Virgin Mary Christian academy where we find our main characters; the members of the literary club chaired by the principal’s daughter Itsumi. She is admired and [...] Review by Morgane Chinal-Dargent

Japanese Girls Never Die

Films & Series

Japanese Girls Never Die

Directed by Matsui Daigo The film focuses on the disappearance of Azumi Haruko (Aoi Yu), a 27 years old woman who lives in a suburban city and shares her house with her mother, father and grand-mother. She works as an office lady [...] Review by Morgane Chinal-Dargent

Close-knit

Films & Series

Close-knit

Directed by Ogigami Naoko The movie has been well-received at a series of international festivals this year. Using a pioneering story-line, it has also done something contemporary filmmakers overlook: it flatters its audience. Review by Roger Macy

Mukoku

Films & Series

Mukoku

Directed by Kumakiri Kazuyoshi “It seems likely that Kumakiri will continue to probe the darker corners of society and experience.” The film starts with a mêlée of jump-cuts depicting a very angry man in his thirties who is seen to be drunk [...] Review by Roger Macy