Zainichi Koreans, Asian Americans in Pachinko the series

Some may say that "Tough experiences make you stronger"

A story of Korean in 4 generations who moved from Busan, South Korea to Osaka, Japan and New York, United States, living in another country to start a new life with a painful memories and also depicts how difficult they struggled to live in abroad while keep their own identities.

Based on an American best seller novel by journalist Lee Min-Jin, The Apple TV+ original series “PACHINKO” tells the story of Kim Sun-ja, a woman who lived under Japan's colonial rule in Korea. She met Koh Hansu, a Zainichi Korean (Japan-born Korean) who are a dealer at fish market in Osaka and works with a powerful Yakuza gang. The great earthquake in Kanto in 1923 later revealed a hint about him. She married with Baek Isak, moved to Osaka and being discriminated terribly as being a Korean immigrants in Japan.

Back to 1989, her nephew "Baek Solomon", a Korean American in New York who graduated from Colombia University and succeeded in job by using his Korean identities. His family pushed him move to US to escape the discrimination scene against Zainichi Korean and Chinese in Japan. That's a reason he can speak both English, Korean and Japanese.

One day, Back Solomon got a very big chance by transfered himself to work at Tokyo as Vice President and managed a company in his own style. He have to persuade a Korean lady to sell her land for constructing a hotel. It was that day when the death of emperor Hirohito news is announced.

He seems to be more American, than Asian. During he traced his root through Kim Sun-ja, his grand mom in Japan. He found that his relative used to live in Osaka as we can hear Osaka dialect in the film as well. Actually, his 3 cultures background created a path to make him success and be himself today.

Soo Hugh, series creator is born in Korea but  moved to US with her parents when she was a kid. Living in 2 cultures pushed her to adapt this novel to the film. Kogonada, one of two directors in this series also shared an emotional background as his dad is Korean but he raised in Japan.

During the Asian Hate Crime happened in US, it reminded us look back to feel the family's connection and never forget your own identities as Asian American or Asian who living in foreign land around the world. The series airing from March until 29th April 2022. Starring by Lee Min-Ho, Youn Yuh-Jung, Kim Min-Ha and more.

Text: inStyle Asia

©2022 Pachinko, Apple TV+

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