Showing posts from March, 2021

Book Review: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

In a time of racism, lack of empathy, and general uncertainty, Pachinko (Min Jin Lee, 2017) is an excellent read. TL,DR: Read Pachinko if you are interested in: Asian family histories, war, class and society, gender roles, battling racism, religion, shame, and/or enjoyed Les Mis.  What is Pachinko? The title of the book comes from a Japanese gambling game comparable to American slot machines. But the book itself centers around a Korean family who eventually immigrates to Japan and their struggles- socioeconomically but also intersected with class, race, and religion. It's fascinating to view history from the perspective of an underrepresented, almost persecuted group- in this case Koreans in Japan from World War I era to the 1990s, and consider and understand their role in something seen as Japanese (pachinko).  The themes are heavy, and the book to me was basically an East Asian Les Mis. Some parts are difficult to read, because the book can feel slow as history itself, but also