Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Eight books about the impact of Japanese imperialism during WWII

Cindy Fazzi is a Filipino American writer and former Associated Press reporter. Her debut thriller, Multo, will be published in June 2023.

She’s the author of a historical novel, My MacArthur (2018). The book was chosen as a quarterfinalist in the 2018 ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Competition.

Fazzi was born and raised in the Philippines and educated in the Philippines (Ateneo de Manila University) and the United States (Ohio State University). She has worked as a journalist in the Philippines, Taiwan, and the United States.

At Electric Lit she tagged eight books about the "the depth and breadth of the horrors of Japanese imperialism," including:
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Japan demonstrated its military might when it won the wars against China (1894-1895) and Russia (1904-1905), but it was the annexation of Korea in 1910 that made it a bona fide imperial power. Pachinko captures the impact of Japanese colonialism on the Korean psyche through the story of one family over four generations. Sunja, plain and poor, loses her father at 13 and gets pregnant at 17. Her lover, slick and wealthy Hansu, is a Korean who works for the Japanese Yakuza. Worse, he’s married with children and he won’t marry Sunja. Baek Isak, a Christian minister who suffers from tuberculosis, marries Sunja to save her reputation and take her to Japan to start anew.

Sunja gives birth, first to Noah, the son of Hansu, and then Mosazu, Isak’s son. Japan is no land of milk and honey for Koreans. The family endures poverty, discrimination, and catastrophes. Sunja connects all four generations in a span of 70 years. She’s transformed from a na├»ve teen to an indomitable matriarch in this exceptional family saga. The best-selling novel’s adaptation is a popular Apple TV+ series.
Read about another entry on the list.

Pachinko is among Eman Quotah's eight books about mothers separated from their daughters, Karolina Waclawiak's six favorite books on loss and longing, Allison Patkai's top six books with strong female voices, Tara Sonin's twenty-one books for fans of HBO’s Succession, and six books Jia Tolentino recommends.

--Marshal Zeringue