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Japanese author 5: Sasaki Jyo

Sasaki Jyo has been writing hard-boiled suspense novels, adventure novels, and police fiction. He was born in 1950 in Yubari, Hokkaido. After graduating from a high school in Sapporo, he went to Tokyo and began to work for part-time jobs as a welder or assembler. Then he began to write novels during engaging in advertisement business.

Some of his novels use Hokkaido as a background. For example “Haikyo ni kou (Begging in ruins)” was one of them and it won Naoki award, one of the most honorable literal awards in Japan. This book is a collection of short stories about a police on temporary retirement. In this series, typical towns in Hokkaido are described in detail and one of these towns is a depopulated town which used to have coal mine. The social problems in Hokkaido are also mentioned in this novel.

His hometown, Yubari is one of a few towns which bankrupted in Japan. It used to prosper through the coal industry, but it has declined dramatically after penetration of oil. I guess that this author has felt pain the decline of his hometown and has considered it for a long time. As a result, his emotion resulted in this novel. The good thing is that Yubari is now trying to revive by a young mayor.

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