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Author Keigo Higashino
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Genre Mystery, Thriller
Publisher Shueisha
Publication date
Media type Print, e-book
ISBN 978-4087744002

Byakuyako (白夜行 Byakuyakō?) is a mystery novel written by Keigo Higashino, first serialized on the monthly magazine Novel Subaru of Shueisha from January 1997 to January 1999. The entire volume was published in August 1999 and became a bestseller.

During the serialization, the novel was at first written as a series of short stories representing chronological snapshots of the overall plot line. Higashino modified its structure to make it a single coherent story before publishing it as a single volume. As of November 2005 the book had sold 550,000 copies. However, its sales quickly picked up after the first episode of the adapted TV series was aired. By January 2006 its sales had broken a million. Its sales exceeded 2 million in December 2010.

The novel attracted various adaptations, including a stage drama in 2005. a Japanese TV series in 2006, a Korean motion picture in 2009, and a Japanese motion picture in 2010.



19 years ago (1972), a pawnshop owner was killed in Osaka. Several suspects were identified. However, the case remained unsolved due to lack of decisive evidence. Since then, Ryoji Kirihara, the son of the victim and Yukiho Karasawa, the daughter of one of the suspects seemed to have walked on separate paths of life. However, mysterious and vicious crimes kept on happening around the two of them. This is an epic story about two persons who lost their conscientiousness from a tragedy.

The story spanned 19 years from 1973 to 1992. The novel is narrated from multiple support characters' point of view, with a lot of foreshadowing embedded into the story. The two protagonists' thoughts, however, are avoided as much as possible.


Ryoji Kirihara (桐原亮司 Kirihara Ryōji?)

The son of the victim killed 19 years ago, Ryoji's eyes have been dark and emotionless since the childhood incidence. He loathes getting close with other people greatly. He started to get involved in shady business like housewife prostitution rings and game software piracy when he was still a student. He is a very astute man, and possesses professional software skills. He loves to use a vintage scissors of his since childhood, and is very good at paper cutting.

Yukiho Karasawa (Nishimoto) (唐沢(西本)雪穂 Karasawa (Nishimoto) Yukiho?)

A stunning beauty, Yukiho is the daughter of one of the suspects of the pawnshop homicide happened 19 years ago. A primary school student then, she lived a poor life with her mother. Her mother died in an accident shortly after the murder. Afterwards Yukiho was adopted by Karasawa, received good education and turned into an upper class lady with manners and elegance. Her academic grades were excellent, causing a lot of jealousies. People close to her often fell prey to various misfortunes.

Junzo Sasagaki (笹垣潤三 Sasagaki Junzō?)

An officer of the Crime Investigation Unit of Osaka Prefectural Police, Junzo was in charge of the investigation of the pawnshop incidence 19 years ago. Over the years of investigation, he grew suspicious of the mysterious events befallen on people close to Yukiho and Ryoji, and has been investigating both of them since. He likes Seven Stars cigarette very much.

Hisashi Koga (古賀久志 Koga Hisashi?)

An officer of the Crime Investigation Unit of Osaka Prefectural Police, Hisashi was also investigating the pawnshop incidence 19 years ago. He rose through the ranks of the police force in the following 19 years. He was Junzo's co-worker as well as his relative.

Yosuke Kirihara (桐原洋介 Kirihara Yōsuke?)

The owner of "Kirihara" pawnshop and Ryoji's father, Yosuke was killed 19 years ago. He cared about his son very much. However, he discreetly had some unusual sexual interests...

Yaeko Kirihara (桐原弥生子 Kirihara Yaeko?)

Mother of Ryoji, Yaeko became the owner of the pawnshop after her husband died. After the pawnshop was closed down due to mismanagement, she opened a small cafeteria to earn a living. Yaeko knows she is not a responsible mother to Ryoji.

Isamu Matsuura (松浦勇 Matsuura Isamu?)

The store manager of "Kirihara" pawnshop, Isamu knows a lot of secrets about the Kirihara family. He later would approach Ryoji as a broker of pirated game software.

Fumiyo Nishimoto (西本文代 Nishimoto Fumiyo?)

Mother of Yukiho, Fumiyo was seen by the police as a suspect in the pawnshop incidence. Soon after the murder, she died from a gas leakage at home. The truth, however, is much darker...

Reiko Karasawa (唐沢礼子 Karasawa Reiko?)

Yukiho's distant relative, Reiko adopted Yukiho after her mother died. She is very strict in teaching Yukiho to behave like a lady.

Yuichi Akiyoshi (秋吉雄一 Akiyoshi Yūichi?)

Ryoji's secondary schoolmate, Yuichi was secretly photographing Yukiho.

Fumihiko Kikuchi (菊池文彦 Kikuchi Fumihiko?)

Ryoji's secondary schoolmate, Fumihiko had photos about a secret of Ryoji's mother Yaeko. He was later set up and became the suspect of another crime.

Eriko Kawashima (川島江利子 Kawashima Eriko?)

Yukiho's university schoolmate, Eriko had a short romantic relationship with Shinozuka Kazunari started by kazunari's proposing. She was kidnapped mysteriously later and separated with him. She respected and depended on Yukiho a lot during university days, but later became distant. Years later she got married with an ordinary worker. She holds a complex and doubtful attitude towards Yukiho.

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