Last Wednesday I had to go to Aioi for the meeting at the end of th...

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Sep 30, 2018 02:34 bookclub pachinko
Last Wednesday I had to go to Aioi for the meeting at the end of the first school term. It's a long ride to there, takes 2 and a half hours, so I'm always reading books or listening to music or podcast programmes on the trrain.
I was alone on the way there, but with two other teachers on the way back. I asked one of them who is an English teacher (I'll call her Ms. E on this entry) if she knew book clubs around Kobe or Akashi, because recently I was asked the same question by a Lang-8 user who lives in Kobe. She tilted her head, and the other teacher whose major was economy (I'll call him Mr. E as well) said that those two were meeting regularly to read English books and quit it when he retired two years ago. He was called back by the CEO again by being offered another post in the Kobe campus last month. He also said that they would start their meeting again with me. I asked what they were reading. They answered that they were reading the book written by Hillary Clinton, which described for example, how she fell in love with her husband. I hesitated, only remembering the notorious episode of her husband, what he did with his mistress in the White House using a cigarette. They could tell my hesitation and asked me what kinds of books I read. I showed them the book "Pachinko". It was their turn to try not to show their hesitation. Ms.E said, "Pachinko? Is it that pachinko?" I replied to her yes and explained that this story is a biography of a Korean family that had to migrate to Japan before WWⅡ, and their family members work in the pachinko industry. Mr. E studied the book cover. And Ms. E also read it. It was written: "A rich, moving novel about exile, identity and the determination to endure." She asked me the definition of "exile" and said, "So, they had to overcome discrimination." I was stunned. I guessed that she might have misread "determination" to "discrimination". However, what she said was right. It's no coincident, because if you were raised under the Japanese culture, you must surely have learnt that working at a pachinko parlor is something to be despised and shameful. I didn't tell them that I wasn't reading it for my concern to the social problems but just for my personal interest.
Today I finished reading it. I didn't expect that much before starting reading it that I'd relate to that story, I was even afraid of being involved in sympathy for it. But now, it became something significant for me for some reason.