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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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ケネディ前大使がオススメする本

 

 


日本大使を務めていたケネディ前大使が8月のブックフェスでMin Jin LeeさんのPachinkoを紹介していました。今年はじめに出版された本ですが全米図書賞のFinalistsにも選ばれています。

 

National BookFoundation: Why did you write this book?

Min Jin Lee: In 1989, I attended a college lecture featuring an American missionary who worked with the ethnic Korean population in Japan. He told a story about a 13 year-old Korean-Japanese boy who had been bullied by his Japanese classmates, and I couldnt stop thinking about it. After college, I went to law school, practiced law for two years then quit. From 1996-2003, I worked on one version of the book about the Korean-Japanese people, but it was no good. I moved to Japan in 2007, and I started a new version and worked on that one for nine years. I’ve wondered why I wanted to write this book, and I think it’s because I’m an American of Korean descent. As an immigrant child in a new land, I had been treated with far, far greater acceptance than that boy. I know we can do better.

 

Finalistsになったためか最近もニューヨークタイムズが記事にしていました。相当のリサーチをして書き上げたことがわかります。

 

A NovelistConfronts the Complex Relationship Between Japan and Korea

The Saturday Profile

By JONATHAN SOBLE NOV. 6, 2017

 

Many of today’s zainichi are fourth-generation, so they’re hardly immigrants anymore. They are essentially Japanese,” Professor Ukiba added. Outright discrimination has faded, he said, since the period depicted in “Pachinko” — the 1910s through the 1980s but has not disappeared. Some bigotry has moved online, where trolls depict zainichi as “cockroaches” or fifth-columnists for nuclear-armed North Korea.

 

Ms. Lee spent nearly two decades conceiving, writing and rewriting “Pachinko.” The seed was planted in 1989, when, as a student at Yale, she attended a talk by a Protestant missionary who had spent time among the zainichi. Until then, she said, she had never heard of this branch of the Korean diaspora. Growing up in the United States, she was used to Koreans being viewed as hardworking and upwardly mobile, a model American minority. But many zainichi, she was surprised to discover, languished at the bottom rungs of Japan’s socioeconomic ladder.

 

My level of research became a little neurotic,” she said. Although she was a Korean immigrant herself, she was entering a completely new world.

 

For ethnic Koreans in Japan, one route to economic improvement has been pachinko, a pastime derived from pinball. Played by millions of Japanese at noisy, smoke-filled halls, many of which are operated by zainichi, pachinko occupies a legal and social gray zone. The game itself is legal, but the gambling that inevitably accompanies it is not.

 

Instead of banning it, Japan tolerates it but disparages the people who run it,” said Ms. Lee. She sees a parallel with Koreans’ place in Japanese society: deeply established, yet not fully accepted as legitimate members.

 

日本人がバルフォア宣言でのイギリスの態度を批判するのは容易いんですが、じゃあ日本の状況はどうなんだと考えると難しいですよね。そんな影の部分である在日の問題をLeeさんは踏み込んでくれています。気軽に読める本ではないですが、日本が舞台ですので読みやすいです。しかも今ならKindleで800円で購入できますのでオススメです。

 

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