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Pachinko follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan. So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.
ISBN: 9781478945499
Branch Call Number: EBOOK AUDIO
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Hiroto, Allison
Alternative Title: Pachinko : a novel


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Apr 26, 2019

incredible saga. the author does not dwell too long on the details, yet weaves a complicated and engaging story line. Everyone in my bookclub loved it and felt they learned a lot about Japanese/Korean history. Gave us a lot to discuss regarding the vagaries of wartime, difficult choices that desperate people need to make, and how enduring prejudice can be.

Nov 29, 2018

I cannot believe how disappointed I was by this book!!! Having lived in Southeast Asia and traveled throughout the region, I normally seek out and respect Asian authors. In addition the story of this family covers two of the most significant events of the 20th century in Japan and Korea. The story begins in Korea with a girl in trouble - classic beginning of hundreds of novels. A kind Christian man marries the girl and they end up moving to Japan. It is common knowledge that the Japanese culture of the 20th century treated Koreans with less than respect. The family ekes out a living, gradually becoming more successful. The husband is thrown in prison for not properly respecting Japanese tradition. The family is living in Japan during World War II. Does this not deserve some observations other than that the Japanese were put in detention camps in the U.S. and yes by the way an uncle moves to Nagasaki. He escapes the bomb, but is burned. World War II gets a couple of pages. What about the opportunity to discuss the comfort women of Korea who were kidnapped by the Japanese to be sexual slaves to the military. They are still trying to get justice. I guess they were not important compared to pachinko. Then we have the Korean War which is barely mentioned. What is mentioned is a lot of sex and abortions and how to set the pachinko games so that there are not many winners. There is even voyeurism because a woman is not getting enough sex at home. Never mind that the family is being funded by a member of the Yakuza Japanese crime syndicate. Really is this what is important for readers to know about Korean culture and history? The book begins with the sentence: History has failed us, but no matter. Actually the author has failed history and its profound effect upon Koreans in the 20th century. Kristi & Abby Tabby


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