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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 201

Pachinko is a novel that describes the struggle between two ethnicities, Japanese and South Korean, that are forced to co-exist because one country conquers the other. It starts off in Yeongdo, a South Korean fishing village. Here, the author introduces a poor fisherman, his wife, and their clever, disabled son,...

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Pachinko is a novel that describes the struggle between two ethnicities, Japanese and South Korean, that are forced to co-exist because one country conquers the other. It starts off in Yeongdo, a South Korean fishing village. Here, the author introduces a poor fisherman, his wife, and their clever, disabled son, Hoonie. At some point, during Hoonie's adult life, Japan colonizes South Korea and life becomes tougher for the natives. Despite the rise in the cost of living, Hoonie and his parents still manage to make ends meet with their lodging business. Hoonie later marries Yangjin and they have a beautiful daughter without any deformities called Sunja. Hoonie later dies and Yangjin is forced to take care of her daughter all by herself. She manages to do so with a successful lodging business. Sunja then falls for a married man, and he gets her pregnant. Afraid of what other people might say, she runs away to Japan and gives birth to a son, Noa Baek, who later changes his name to Nobuo Ban, a Japanese name, so that he can avoid being discriminated against because he is Korean. Overall, it's an intriguing novel that shows the life of Korean immigrants in Japan.

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