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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