Min Jin Lee’s quotes come especially needy for folks grappling with adjusting to a foreign environment – outside of their home country, still, they’ve proven to be a good resource for educating about life in general. Here are some of her best quotes.
When you’re young, you think everything has to be binary, as that’s exactly how you feel at that age.
Min Jin Lee draws from her experience as a child of seven years old immigrating from South Korea to the United States with her parents and two sisters. Much of what transpired around her at the time was viewed with a naive, twofold eye, even though those experiences were hard for her.
However, as she advanced in age, she realized there are more sides to these experiences characterizing her life than she had paid attention to. This would then be followed by a series of flashbacks about even the tiniest collectible detail of her life trying to adjust as an immigrant from a faraway country.
On Gambling and Life
‘Pachinko’, like all gambling, is rigged. The house always wins. It’s a central metaphor of life. It’s rigged, but you keep playing.
Min Jin Lee made this quote in connection to one of her bestsellers, ‘Pachinko’ – a title which also stands for a shady gambling company. She compared real life to the shady activity perpetrated by the owners of such gambling companies who would always make sure the house didn’t lose money.
Min Jin Lee saw life in the same light, and this is for the fact that in life, one experiences many tough times, trials, and even failures – but there’s no room for quitting or giving up because one doesn’t have much of a choice than to keep trying with the hope to succeed, even though there is a greater percentage of failure occurring.
On Her Bond With Japan
I do have love for Japan. At the same time, I have a complex relationship with Japan because I’m Korean.
Min Jin Lee has always been one to express her love and fondness for Japan, even though her parent country Korea has had a fractious relationship in the past.
Getting the final pieces for writing the epic ‘Pachinko’ was possible thanks to her relocation to Tokyo, Japan, where she met with and interviewed several people who were, or had ancestors, tied to the book’s subject matter.
We need to recognize how difficult and important being a mother is.
Min Jin Lee crafted this quote in honor of all the mothers and their roles in the life of the family; she believed these roles to sometimes be overlooked and neglected.
Min Jin Lee, during the late 1990s, when she started writing, already had a son to look after and was juggling between the role of being a mother and advancing her professional writing career, so she knew firsthand the difficulty and importance the mother is to the child, which was why she felt all mothers needed to be better appreciated.
On Class System in America
People often think of America as a classless society, but, of course, that isn’t true. Within the immigrant communities, there’s an enormous distinction of class…
Min Jin Lee had spent a huge part of her life in the United States being that she relocated there with her two sisters and parents at age 7. What followed was the reality of a highly discriminating, hard-to-break-into group of the social class showing itself and causing an ultimate bane to her life as a much younger person.
These experiences have led her to understand that America, unlike what people who didn’t quite get the experience think, is scattered with diverse social classes, especially common among the immigrant population.
What does Min Jin Lee question about Japan?
Min Jin Lee loves Japan and is not shy to admit it despite originating from South Korea, however, the one thing that keeps eluding her understanding is why Japan is okay to be identified as a monoracial state despite the trend in the age and era that we live in.
How did ‘Pachinko’s’ author Min Jin Lee become a compelling writer and orator?
For her ability to write well and tell her story in such a compelling way, Min Jin Lee gives credit to her leading a life of reading. Lee admitted that at every (disappointing) point in her life, there was always a book to help her get by.
Did Min Jin Lee live in Japan while writing her book ‘Pachinko’?
Min Jin Lee moved to Tokyo, Japan, after the release of her first book ‘Free Food For Millionaires’ in 2007, from there she was presented with the opportunity to do the needed research (in mostly interviews with Koreans living there) for the completion of her book ‘Pachinko’.