As proved by the Japanese government’s successful lobbying efforts to retain the “Sea of Japan” on international maps to signify the body of water that separates the archipelago from the Korean Peninsula (South Korea wanted to change it to the “East Sea”), the Sea of Japan has an important value to all Japanese. However, the western coast of Japan itself has a very dark, depressing image that is influenced by the generally overcast conditions one finds there year-round. Historically, it is also an area that tends to be associated with tragedy (most of the North Korean abductions took place there).

For that reason, the Sea of Japan coast is second only to Kyoto among favorite settings for Japanese murder mysteries, and this week, two new suspense dramas, both written by Takuya Nishioka, will be broadcast on two different TV networks.

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