Main Menu

Book of Interest 2017
November 2017

CD Christmas Gambols
Anyone looking for a special British Christmas gift this year is warmly invited to consider Retrospect Opera’s CD recording of Charles Dibdin’s Christmas Gambols of 1795.
Retrospect Opera is a charity organisation based in the UK (Manchester) and in Japan (Kyoto) which records important works of British musical theatre.
Christmas Gambols was designed specifically as a Christmas show, and includes a wonderful selection of songs, some of which became very popular.
This is the first CD devoted to Dibdin’s songs, though he was the leading British singer-songwriter of his time.
For further details please see the Retrospect website

If you would like to purchase this CD, please visit the website above or contact Dr. David Chandler (Professor of Doshisha Univ.) by e-mail: or by post at 341-11-417 Shimizucho Kawaramachi Nijo Agaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi 604-0911, mentioning your name, address, and the number of CDs you would like to buy. A special discount price of JPY1,500 (incl. postage) is available for people living in Japan, and for a limited period, a Christmas sale will be held: 3CDs for JPY3,000.

Tennou no Dining Hall - Shirarezaru Meiji Tennou no Kyutei Gaikou
by Taisuke Yamazaki, Mary Redfern, Nobuko Imaizumi
Shibunkaku Shuppan JPY2,500 (excl. tax)

This book is about Meiji Kinenkan, which was used as a guest palace when Emperor Meiji hosted banquets for foreign dignitaries. The three authors discuss its architecture and table art, along with the topic of Imperial diplomacy.

Motto Shiritai Turner - Shogai to Sakuhin
by Yuko Arakawa
Tokyo Bijutsu, JPY2,000, excl. tax

もっと知りたいターナー 生涯と作品
This book discusses the life and works of William Turner, the great 19th-century British master.

October 2017

RSVP Magazine Vol. 21 Lake District
RSVP Butlers
JPY1,700 (excl. tax)

The latest issue of this popular magazine on UK issues focuses on the Lake District. It is available at major bookshops

A draw will be made for 5 copies of this magazine. To apply, please register your name and phone number by post with the JBS Secretariat by 31st October.

Eikoku no Kyodo Kashi
by Tamao Sako, Kodansha
JPY1,500 (excl. tax)

This is the latest publication by Ms Tamao Sako, a cooking instructor specialising in British puddings.
Various puddings from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are introduced with recipes.

Zusetsu Eikoku Antique no Sekai
by Mari Ono, Kawade Shobo Shinsha
JPY1,800, (excl. tax)

Ms Mari Ono is the representative of the National Trust Support Centre in Japan, and her publications and lectures are designed to introduce the National Trust and various UK issues to Japanese people.
This heavily illustrated book discusses the history of British antiques and the manor house lifestyle.

September 2017

Isabella Bird and Japan: A Reassessment
by Kiyonori Kanasaka,
translated by Nicholas Pertwee
Renaissance Books

JBS member and Professor Emeritus of Kyoto University Kiyonori Kanasaka published an English translation of Isabella Bird to Nihon no tabi in 2014 (Heibonsha Shinsho).
This new version includes a foreword by Sir Hugh Cortazzi, more detailed endnotes, and an index. Available at for $45.00.

August 2017

Kyoshitsu no Eibungaku
(Approaches to Teaching English Literature),
by Nihon Eibungakkai (Kanto Shibu),
Kenkyusha, JPY2,600 (excl. tax)

In this book, members of the Kanto Branch of The English Literary Society of Japan discuss approaches to teaching English Literature in Japanese.

Kanaya Cottage Inn Monogatari
by Hiroyuki Saruhashi,
Bungeishunju Kikaku Shuppanbu,
JPY1,500 (excl. tax)

In 1873, only five years after the Meiji Restoration, Zenichiro Kanaya opened Kanaya Cottage Inn, which was specifically designated to accommodate foreign guests.
This book introduces some of its early guests and discusses tourism to Nikko during the Meiji Era.

May 2017

British Architectural Interior Design
JPY1,200 (excl. tax)

The Business Associates of British Interior Design (BABID) was established in November 2016 to promote British interior design in Japan.
BABID has published a magazine (both in English and Japanese) called “British Architectural Interior Design” and is offering JBS members a copy free of charge. Please see May notice for details.

December 2016

Sherlock Holmes wo aruku
(Visiting places connected with Sherlock Homes)
by Akane Higashiyama
Seidosha JPY1,800 (excl. tax)

The author established the Japan Sherlock Holmes Club together with her late husband in 1977.
This book describes various places connected with Sherlock Holmes, and an interesting tour to Switzerland organised by the Sherlock Holmes Society of London and participated in by Holmes lovers from all over the world.
The Japan Sherlock Holmes Club was one the recipients of a 2016 JBS Award, which Akane Higashiyama accepted on behalf of the Club at this year’s annual dinner.

November 2016

Gardening to Igirisujin (Gardening and British People)
by Misao Iida
Taishukan Shoten JPY3,300 (excl. tax)

The author discusses the history and social background of gardening in the UK from the 16th century to the present day.

October 2016

TWAIKU eiryu (Taishi no Kushu)
by Ambassador Tim Hitchens
Translated by Yumiyo Yamamoto and Natsuko Nito
Shuppan Kyodosha JPY2,700 (incl. tax)

Ambassador Tim Hitchens has been posting haiku (Japanese seventeen-syllable poems) on Twitter since 2012, naming them TWAIKU (Twitter/Haiku). These have now been compiled together with Japanese translations and illustrations in a beautiful book.

To order a copy, please contact the publisher, Shuppan Kyodosha.

Zusetsu Eikoku National Trust
Utsukushii Igirisu wo Nokoshita Hitobito
by Mari Ono
Kawade Shobo JPY1,800 (excl. tax)

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter, the author of the famous Peter Rabbit series and also a great contributor to the National Trust, this book introduces the work done by the National Trust to preserve historic monuments and areas of scenic beauty in the UK.

August 2016

I Love Peter Rabbit
Eigo de Tanoshimu Peter Rabbit to Nakamatachi no Sekai
Original text by Beatrix Potter
Translation and notes by Tomoko Kitani
The Japan Times JPY2,000 (excl. tax)

I LOVE ピーターラビット
To mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter, this book introduces three popular stories (The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, and The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies) with Japanese translations.
Readers can also download narrations of the stories in MP3 format free of charge.

(c)Frederick Warne & Co., 2016

Igirisu no Katei Ryori
by Tamao Sako
Sekai Bunka sha JPY1,600 (excl. tax)

This is the first British home cooking recipe book by Sako Tamao, an Osaka-based cooking instructor specialising in British puddings.
This book won the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in 2016 (World Cuisine/Foreign International).

Igirisu no Kashi Monogatari
by Tamao Sako
Mynavi JPY1,520 (excl. tax)

The author is a well-known cooking instructor specialising in British puddings. In 2014, she gave classes in Scottish cuisine on NHK’s popular TV drama Massan.
This book contains recipes for 57 British puddings, along with related information.

June 2016

Magazine RSVP Vol.18

The latest issue of this popular magazine on UK issues focuses on Britain in Japan. Various UK related tea rooms, shops, bakeries, hotels etc. are featured.
It is available at major book shops.

A draw will be made for 5 copies of the magazine. To apply, please give your name and phone number to the JBS Secretariat by post by 1st June.

April 2016

The Churchill Factor How One Man Made History
By Boris Johnson
Translated by Masahiko Ishizuka and Ginko Kobayashi
President Inc. JPY2,300 (excl. tax)

Boris Johnson celebrates the singular brilliance of one of the most important leaders of the twentieth century, Sir Winston Churchill. Taking on the myths and misconceptions along with the outsized reality, he portrays - with characteristic wit and passion - a man of contagious bravery, breathtaking eloquence, matchless strategizing, and deep humanity. The Japanese translation is now available at major book shops and internet.

December 2015

Thatcher to Nissan Eikoku Kojo 1973-1986
Hitoshi Suzuki Yoshida Publishing
JPY2,200(tax excl.)

Why did Mrs Thatcher, the first female Prime Minister of the UK encourage Nissan to build a car plant in the UK?
This book provides a detailed analysis of the process whereby Japan and the UK agreed this project, and of the relations between the two countries at that time.

Shiawase wo Hikiyoseru Cathrine-hi Kikonashi Rule
Mizuho Nishiguchi  Gentosha Literary Publication JPY1,200(tax excl.)

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge does not entrust everything she wears on a stylist. She likes to choose her own outfits. The clothes she wears always attract attention, and they are sold out quickly.
Why does everyone love her fashion? The secret is in this book.

November 2015

Penny Black Monogatari
By Yosuke Naito Nihon Yushu Shuppan
JPY2,350 (excl. tax)

This year is the 175th Anniversary of the Penny Black - British Stamp. In this book, the author explains which Penny Black designs are valuable, and introduces various UK postmarks and the history of British stamps.

October 2015

Alexander William Williamson den
(A Biography of Alexander William Williamson)
By Takaaki Inuzuka
Kaicho-sha JPY2,800 (excl. tax)

The Choshu Five and the Satsuma students who all later made an enormous contribution to the modernisation of Japan smuggled themselves to London where they studied under the guidance of the English chemist, Professor Williamson.
This book is a biography of Professor Williamson who supported the ambitious young Japanese students.

Eikoku Oushitsu-ryu Kyoiku no Gokui
The Innermost Secrets of British Royal Education
By Mari Ono
Kawade Shobo Shinsha JPY1,500 (excl. tax)

Mrs. Ono, who raised her children in the UK, introduces the British education system and relates the history of the education of the Royal Family, from Queen Elizabeth II to Prince George.

August 2015

Monogatari Igirisu no Rekishi (two volumes)
By Naotaka Kimizuka
Chuko Shinsho Vol.1 JPY800 Vol.2 JPY820 (excl. tax)

物語 イギリスの歴史
Professor Naotaka Kimizuka (Kanto Gakuin University. and a JBS Member) covers more than a thousand years of British history in two volumes. He has, in particular, investigated the long and special relationship between “the crown and parliament”, from ancient Britannia to the age of Queen Elizabeth I in the first volume, and from the Civil War in the Stuart Age to the present, the age of Queen Elizabeth II, in his second volume. These books are a handy introduction for those in Japan interested in British history and British politics

Eikoku Jutaku ni Miserarete
By Koichi Obi
RSVP Butlers / Maruzen Shuppan JPY1,800 (excl. tax)

Mr. Koichi Obi (a JBS Member) set up his company, “Cotsworld”, in 1998 as he was fascinated by the beauty of the houses in the Cotswolds in England. This book introduces various types of English houses and manor houses. The many illustrations include Highclere Castle, famous as the location of the “Downton Abbey” drama series.

July 2015

Taieiguukan By Takaaki Kato
Annotated by Sochi Naraoka
Chuko Bunko JPY900 (excl. tax)

The Inaugural dinner meeting of the Japan British Society held on 27th November 1908 marked H.E. Mr. Takaaki Kato’s departure to take up his post as Japanese Ambassador to the UK. Ambassador Kato wrote this book about his experiences and his impressions of Great Britain. Sochi Naraoka (Professor, University of Kyoto) annotated and published this work in February 2015.

Fushigina Igirisu By Toshihiko Kasahara
Kodansha Gendai Shinsho JPY900 (excl. tax)

A former London correspondent for the Mainichi Newspaper, reveals the true face of the United Kingdom in a unique way. Seen through the eyes of a foreigner, the UK is an intriguing and fascinating country. The author addresses the question of how a country which developed modern rationalism along with parliamentary democracy, can support a monarchy to this day, and contemplates the enigma of British monarchy, politics, economy, and society. The reality of the UK is presented on the basis of countless interviews and an analysis of historical events. Having read this book, the reader will understand why the UK is at the cutting edge of an ever-globalizing world.

Billy Elliot the Musical Live

DVD JPY3,800 Blu-ray JPY4,700 (excl. tax)
The DVD and Blu-ray of this popular long-running musical are released in Japan on 8th July.

Billy Elliot the Musical Live

May 2015

Shogen- Senjo ni Kakeru Hashi (Building the Burma-Thailand Railway 1942-43)
By Kazuo Tamayama
TEM Shuppan Shoten JPY1,400 (excl. tax)

Dr. Kazuo Tamayama (a former Executive Secretary of the Society) published Building the Burma-Thailand Railway 1942-43 in English in 2004. A BBC documentary based on this book broadcast 10 years later received favourable reviews in the UK. A Japanese translation of this book is now available at If you would like an English text, please contact the JBS Secretariat.

December 2014

Aka to Ao no Gown (Red and Blue Gown Experience in Oxford)

赤と青のガウン By Princess Akiko of Mikasa
PHP Kenkyujo JPY2,300 (excl. tax)

HIH Princess Akiko of Mikasa has written a book about her life and study in Oxford, where in May 2011 she was the first lady member of the Imperial Family to obtain a PhD. She also wrote a memoir of her father, the late Prince Tomohito of Mikasa who passed away in June 2012.

December 2014

Igirisu Bunka Jiten
Chief Editor Yo Kawanari Maruzen Shuppan
JPY20,000 (excl. tax)

イギリス文化事典 This encyclopedia of British culture brings together contributions from 250 writers, on such topics as British society, literature, poetry, music, art, theatre, architecture, education, and sports . A special discount price is offered to JBS members. Please see the enclosed flyer for details.
Special Price for JBS Members JPY18,000 + tax (postage included)

November 2014

Taketsuru Masataka to Whisky
By Mamoru Tsuchiya Tokyo Shoseki
JPY1,400 (excl. tax)

Mamoru Tsuchiya, head of the Tokyo based Scotch Whisky Research Centre, and supervisor of the popular TV drama “Massan” on NHK, has written a book about Masataka Taketsuru and his efforts to produce Japan’s first whisky. The book contains an example of Masataka’s handwriting, an interview with his son and information about Scotland.

Isabella Bird to Nihon no Tabi
By Kiyonori Kanasaka Heibonsha Shinsho
JPY880 (excl. tax)

The latest publication by Kiyonori Kanasaka (Professor Emeritus at Kyoto Univ. / JBS Member and JBS Award recipient in 2013) is Unbeaten Tracks in Japan: An Account of Travels in the Interior, Including Visits to the Aborigines of Yezo and the Shrine of Nikko by Isabella Bird. He describes the background to Bird’s travel in Japan in the late 19th century.

The John Bull Spirits (John Bull Tamashii)
By Hajime Kato Torikagesha Choeisha
JPY1,400 (excl. tax)

This book discusses great figures in British history from the 16th century onwards. The author suggests that the toughness of the “John Bull Spirit”, combined with maritime power, played a key role in securing the prosperity of the United Kingdom.

July 2014

Downton Abbey
NBC Universal Entertainment Japan
DVD Box JPY4,800 (
Blu-ray Box JPY6,800 (excl. tax)

Downton Abbey
Set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey, this drama series depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era.
Season 1 was shown on NHK. A special DVD box which contains backstage scenes and unreleased footage will be released in August. The DVD Box will be available at HMV shops, amazon etc. Season 2 will be broadcasted by NHK this autumn.

© 2010 Carnival Film & Television Limited. All Rights Reserved.

October 2014

Shozoga de Yomitoku Igirisu-shi
By Takako Saito PHP JPY1,000 (excl. tax)

Takako Saito (Lecturer at Waseda Univ. /JBS Member) has given several art lectures to the Society. She has now written a history of Britain based on portraits of historical figures. The book contains many colourful illustrations.

In the Footsteps of Isabella Bird: Adventures in Twin Time Travel
By Kiyonori Kanasaka Heibonsha JPY3,600 (excl. tax)

ツイン・タイム・トラベル イザベラ・バードの旅の世界
Kiyonori Kanasaka (Professor Emeritus at Kyoto Univ. / JBS Member) won the 2013 JBS Award for his work on Isabella Bird. He travelled all over the world in the footsteps of Isabella Bird and took many photographs which have been exhibited in many countries. This book is a compilation of the author’s Japanese translation of Isabella Bird’s journals and his photographs.

Gulliver no Otozureta Kuni
By Tadashi Karato Banraisha JPY1,200 (excl. tax)

This book is about Marianne North, an English Victorian biologist and botanical artist, who came to Japan in the late 19th century. The author introduces her life and works with her diaries translated into Japanese.

July 2014

Downton Abbey
NBC Universal Entertainment Japan
DVD Box JPY4,800 (
Blu-ray Box JPY6,800 (excl. tax)

Downton Abbey
Set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey, this drama series depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era.
Season 1 was shown on NHK. A special DVD box which contains backstage scenes and unreleased footage will be released in August. The DVD Box will be available at HMV shops, amazon etc. Season 2 will be broadcasted by NHK this autumn.

© 2010 Carnival Film & Television Limited. All Rights Reserved.

May 2014

Magazine RSVP Vol.14

The latest issue of this popular magazine on UK issues focuses on Tea. The themes include special guide to Sri Lanka ?home of Ceylon tea, British pancakes, crumpets etc.
It is available at major book shops.

A draw will be made for 5 copies of the magazine.
To apply, please give your name and phone number to the JBS Secretariat by post by 30th May.

March 2014

Old Rose afureru niwa zukuri
By Kay Yamada
Shueisha JPY2,000 (excluding tax)

Old Rose afureru niwa zukuri

Kay Yamada (a JBS Member) is famous as a horticulturalist and designer of English gardens in Japan. This book introduces old roses with many beautiful pictures and also includes some tips on how to enjoy old roses at home. Present: 5 copies of her book will be distributed by lot. To enter, please give your name and phone number to the JBS Secretariat by post by 31st March

Igirisu kara no Tegami (Letters from England)
By Nozomu Hayashi
Tokyodo Shuppan JPY1,800 (excluding tax)

Igirisu Karano Tegami
Nozomu Hayashi (a JBS Member) wrote his best seller Igirisu wa oishii in 1991.The more than 100 letters that he sent to his family during his stay in the UK from 1984-1987, served as the source for Igirisu wa oishii. This book contains his original letters about his life and experiences in the UK in the mid-80s.

February 2014

Joou Heika no Blue Ribbon
(Her Majesty’s Blue Ribbon: British Diplomatic History seen from the Order of the Garter)
By Naotaka Kimizuka
Chuko Bunko JPY914 (excluding tax)

女王陛下のブルーリボン The Most Noble Order of the Garter, which was established in 1348, is one of the oldest honours in Europe. After the Napoleonic Wars, Britain became a Great Power, and almost all the world’s monarchs longed to be awarded the Blue Ribbon (the nickname of the Order), the highest honour not only in Europe, but also in Asia, Africa and Middle East. Therefore, it was not surprising that British monarchs used the granting of membership in this Order as a tool of foreign policy. This book examines the vicissitudes of British foreign policy from the age of Queen Victoria to that of Queen Elizabeth II, using the Blue Ribbon as a witness to history.

January 2014

Igirisu Bunka to Kindai Keiba
(British Culture and Modern Horse Racing)
By Masao Yamamoto
Sairyu sha JPY1,900 (excl. tax)

イギリス文化と近代競馬 This book discusses the history of horse racing in the UK. Masao Yamamoto (a JBS Member) examines British culture through the prism of horse racing and explains such terms as bookmaker, The Derby, gentlemanship, etc.
This book is available at major book shops.

Andrew Motion Zeikan (The Customs House)
By Andrew Motion
Translated by Kazuko Iki
Otowa Shobo Tsurumi Shoten JPY1,400 (excl. tax)

This is a Japanese translation of Andrew Motion’s The Customs House, translated by Kazuko Iki (a JBS Member). This is Motion’s eleventh book of poems since retiring from the post of Poet Laureate as position he held from 1999 to 2009. It is regarded as one of his masterpieces. Many of the poems are in the voices of combatants, others are based on memories of the poet's father, who took part in the D-Day landing and fought in France and Germany.

© The Japan-British Society