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The radical empathy of Min Jin Lee


The Korean-Japanese professor Kang Sang Jung wrote that Zainichi, or the Korean-Japanese, were “nothing short of the ‘dregs of history’” in popular Japanese consciousness. Korean-American author Min Jin Lee is trying to change that.


In Pachinko, her second novel about Korean identity, she charts the experience of four generations of one Korean Zainichi family—starting in 1911 under Japanese colonial rule in Korea, through migration to Osaka in 1933, up until 1989 at the tail end of Japan’s economic boom.



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