K-dramas continue to smash Netflix audience records. Another highly anticipated drama based on a best-selling novel will be coming to a streaming service near you in March, as other big platforms follow suit and even shoot American versions of Korean masterpieces (Train To Busan and Crash Landing On You are reportedly being westernized).
In 2019, Deadline claimed that Apple TV+ was adapting Min Jin Lee’s 2017 sophomore novel, Pachinko. The film follows four generations of a Korean immigrant family as they travel across Korea, Japan, and the United States through the Japanese occupation, World War II, and beyond. It’s a chilling look at racism, imperialism, and immigration wrapped up in a forbidden love tale. While Lee will act as co-producer, the eight-episode series will be written by Soo Hugh (The Terror). Here’s everything you need to know about Pachinko, including its all-star cast, how the show deviates from the book, and the official trailer.
The Pachinko show’s major focus is the impact of Japan’s colonialism of Korea from 1910 to 1945, as well as the history of Koreans living in Japan as Zanichi, a history that is rarely taught. Lee interviewed hundreds of Zainichi women as part of her research for the novel Pachinko to ensure she authentically depicted their lives. Hugh also interviewed Zanichi ladies while filming the episode.
“These women range in age from 90 to 104, and we obtained their oral testimony, which is actually a component of the presentation,” she said to Bazaar. “I wanted to make certain that I learnt history from the genuine mouths of those who lived it.”
Pachinko’s official trailer released yet?
On February 23, Apple TV+ finally published the official trailer of Pachinko, and the two-and-a-half-minute film should keep you entertained until March. “A child is on the way. She will flourish. “And a family will endure through her,” a voice narrates as the heroine Sunja is presented in snippets. Fans follow her from birth to the current day as an old grandma (Youn), indicating the scope of the series right away. Sunja’s adolescent love affair with mobster Hansu (Lee), her immigration to Japan, selling kimchi at a railway station, and moments with her growing family are among the highlights of the “epic family tale.” “Every decision that we make reshapes us. Every sacrifice determines who we are. “Every generation binds us together,” the trailer states.
Sunja, a Korean daughter of poor business owners, marries, gives child, and immigrates to Osaka amid a period of geopolitical turmoil in Korea, is the subject of the ambitious three-part epic. Her tale is both enthralling and tragic. Sunja falls in love with Koh Hansu, a rich Japanese-adopted Korean who impregnates her before exposing his marital status. Baek Isak, a gentle pastor, marries her after knowing about her delicate position, and they go to Japan to live with Baek’s brother Yoseb and sister Kyunghee.
By the end of Part II, she has two sons: Noa, her kid with Hansu, and Mozasu, her child with Isak. Sunja and Kyunghee start offering kimchi to take care of their families because Isak is arrested.
Following the war, which affects their lives momentarily, Noa finishes her studies while Mozasu works at a pachinko parlour (similar to slot machines) to help with household expenditures. He marries young and has a kid called Solomon as a result. Mozasu amasses money by owning pachinko businesses (which are often frowned upon). He never remarries, but he meets Etsuko and her problematic daughter Hana. Meanwhile, Noa disowns the family and escapes after learning of his father’s identity and connections to Japanese crime syndicates. After meeting with Sunja decades later, he commits suicide. It’s unclear how closely the storey will adhere to the novel, especially with the author on board.
It’s probable that the series will be told in flashback through the eyes of the fourth generation Banks in America.
Yuh-Jung Youn, who received an Academy Award for her performance in Minari in 2020, leads the cast as an older version of Sunja, a young Korean lady who relocates to Japan to raise her family. Lee Minho, widely known for his roles in the blockbuster k-dramas Boys Over Flowers and The Legend of the Blue Sea, plays Hansu, a wealthy fish merchant and Sunja’s love interest. Minha Kim, a newcomer, makes a stunning debut as the adolescent version of Sunja, with 10-year-old Yu-na Jeon playing Sunja as a youngster. Sunja’s grandson Solomon is played by Jin Ha, who previously appeared in the programs Devs and Love Life.
Full Cast of Pachinko
Youn Yuh-jung, Lee Min-Ho, Minha Kim, Jin Ha, Soji Arai, Kaho Minami, Jimmi Simpson, Steve Sang-Hyun Noh, Jung Eun-chae, Yu-na Jeon, Anna Sawai, Inji Jeong, Junwoo Han, Mari Yamamoto, Ian H.W. Kim, Yu Matsushita, Yeji Yeon, Martin Martinez, Miho Suzuki, Yoshio Maki, June Fukumura, Jimmy Bennett, Kerry Knuppe, Sunghee Lapell, Maddy Hillis, Jonathan Kim, Bob Frazer, Blair Penner, Takashi Yamaguchi, Andrew Jaehyun Park, Sean Kohnke, Junko Bailey, Kimmy Choi, Paul Syre, Felice Choi, Hidetaka Ishii, Jason Riki Kosuge, Lydia Lowe, Wilfred Lee, Sky Kao, Andrew Woo, Junichi Tajiri Takahiro Inoue, Hojung ‘Kyle’ Kim, Dan Yang, Ryo Hayashida, Ryuta Kato, Ryota Kaneko, Shintaro Kanaoya and James Cousineau
Directors of Pachinko
Justin Chon and Kogonada
Producers of Pachinko
Lynne Bespflug, Justin Chon, Dani Gorin, Soo Hugh, Yuka Kato, David Kim, Kogonada, Sebastian Lee, RIchard Middleton, Jordan Murcia, Kanjiro Sakura, Lindsey Springer, Brian Sherwin, Jessica Levin, Alexandra Sirard, Teresa Kang-Lowe and Michael Ellenberg
The series was supposed to launch in late 2021, but like most projects these days, it got postponed. On January 26, the global release date was eventually confirmed, along with the first look photographs for the program. Pachinko’s first three episodes will be released on Apple TV+ on March 25, 2022, in three languages: Korean, Japanese, and English. Following then, each subsequent episode will be released weekly, on Fridays, until April 29, 2022.