A Critical Analysis on the Novel Pachinko from the Perspective of Coaching Psychology

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Jong-ok Seok & Jun-ki Chung


The novel Pachinko is a form of historical work centering on Koreans who lived in Japan during a period of political and economic turmoil in the 20th century. In this work, the author Min-jin Lee proposes that individuals who play pachinko machines attempt to earn money by dedicating a substantial amount of time and energy to it, and yet they never win a large amount of money. This proposition is compared to the fate of Koreans in Japan. Similar to a Pachinko machine, where the input has already been entered, and the result is illustrated in a predetermined order, the Koreans in Japan cannot improve their ‘predestined’ lives regardless of how hard they try. Although this gruesome and heartbreaking story of history describes the fourth generation, the author's ultimate goal and the thesis of this novel are to break this chain of fate. To accomplish this goal, Lee sheds light upon these Koreans by transforming their daily lives into important ‘events’ and treating them as unforgettable ‘history.’ This is because only when their lives become history will people reflect upon the unfortunate events in the past and then usher in a new vision of history. In this regard, this paper will argue that the author of Pachinko is faithful to the role of mentor in Coaching Psychology by guiding us to be the creators of a new and improved society.

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