Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

In much of the world, the body of water between Japan and the Koreas, China, and Russia is known as the Sea of Japan. In South Korea, it is not.

Russia calls it “Japanese Sea” (Yapónskoye móre) and China calls it “Sea of Japan” (日本海, literally “Japan Sea,” using the same characters as Japan). However, South Korea calls it “East Sea,” while North Korea prefers “Korean East Sea.”


So if you are promoting a video game in South Korea, you should probably use... That’s right, East Sea! But in a promo clip for Fortnite Korea Open 2018, there was an old-looking map that reads “Mar del Japan” (pictured, above). Epic Games Korea later clarified that the map should have read “Mar del Japón,” Spanish for the Sea of Japan.

Inevitably, South Korean players complained about the Sea of Japan inclusion.

According to This is Game, Epic Games Korea issued an apology, adding that this was a mistake by the production company that shot the spot, is unrelated to the game’s content and that the Epic Games Korea would be more careful henceforth.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored five books, including most recently, Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Desirable Spirit.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter