Tag: Korea

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

March 19th, 2019 — 11:51am


Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

This book introduces the reader to the story of Koreans who migrated from Japan shortly before the outbreak of World War II. It also traces the occupation of Korea by the Japanese prior to this time and follows a family who lived in Japan for four generations. This book tells the story of discrimination against the Koreans by the Japanese. Through the depiction of various characters, the reader learns about family values, the role of women, religious beliefs and the impact of culture on the lives of this multi-generational Korean family.

The book takes the reader on an interesting journey which not only studies all aspects of the personalities and values of the characters, but also paints a very vivid picture of the bustling street markets in Korea as well as the life in the universities in Japan. There is also a very interesting and revealing story about “Pachinko”, a gambling parlor game that is common and also the connection to the criminal underworld of the people who run these games.

This is a good read which pulls back the curtain and reveals the lives of people who we may not have had the opportunity to meet and understand.


Your comments are always welcome below

If you wish to purchase this book on Amazon, please click here

Comment » | FG - Fiction General, FH - Fiction Historical

Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Souk Shin

August 17th, 2013 — 12:37am

Please Look After MotherPlease Look After Mom by Kyung-Souk Shin –  This book is about a Korean Family in which early in the story we learn that the elderly mother, the matriarch of the family, is missing. She was coming to Seoul, the big city, with her husband when their hand grasp was loosened in a crowded train station. This is the premise which the author uses to examine the role  of the mother in this family, at the same times she is able to touch upon universal issues in relationships in every culture. This is particularly poignant where mother comes from poverty and can’t give her children more than the sweat of her brow and the food off of her plate. To give your child what you never had is an understandable dream of a parent who saw so much around her that she couldn’t reach. For some parents it may be an education  or even the ability read, freedom from hunger , a career, travel, knowledge of the world etc. How much should a mother show of  her insecurity to her children and will this change with age when the children hopefully can obtain some of the things the parents could never have. Then there are secrets of the parents that the children never know. Even if the children think they know the secrets and what went on behind the scenes, they may not know the whole story. Did the children really know about Father and the other woman? Would they dare even to think that mother had a secret man friend . Certainly this book makes the reader reflect on whether we really understood our own mothers as well as whether our children really know us. Perhaps in guise of protecting a child, there is less sharing of goals, frustrations and even triumphs. Do grown children do the same thing with parents? Does this lead to less closeness and empathy for each other? Through the eyes of the family members we also appreciate how there can be delayed or postponed expressions of appreciation for each other and how one might regret this as time runs out. A worthy lesson of this book. As beautiful and as poignant as some of the insights of this book might be, it is quite repetitious. It loses much of it’s value as it hammers home the lessons and points it is making. It is one thing to tug at the reader’s heartstrings and try to make universal truths about essence of motherhood. However, to rehash it from several points of view, including a view of bird looking in some family interactions (bird’s eye view?) doesn’t not make a pleasant reading experience in this writer’s opinion. It seemed to me, there should have been some fresh new understanding and insight that was lacking in this book. One of the children of the mother in this story was described as being a successful author. She was frequently at odds with her mother and had much grief when her mother was gone before she could really reconcile. It was enough perhaps to bring about this novel.

Comment » | FG - Fiction General

Back to top