Deeply emotional, this eight-episode Apple TV+ series barely scratches the surface of the novel upon which it’s based, and will surely leave a core audience clamoring for more.

Hoonie — Hoonie is the first character to be introduced in the story, born with a twisted foot and a cleft palate. He meets his wife, Yangjin, on his wedding day, and they have three children who die young before Sunja, their only surviving daughter, is born. Hoonie dies of tuberculosis when Sunja is thirteen years old.

Sunja — Sunja is the main protagonist of Pachinko, appearing throughout the novel. Sunja is the daughter of Hoonie and Yangjin, born in Yeongdo, Busan, Korea. Sunja has two children. Her first born, Noa, is fathered by Koh Hansu, and her second born, Mozasu, is fathered by Baek Isak.

Baek Isak — Baek Isak is a Protestant minister from Pyongyang, Korea. He is first introduced when he visits Yangjin’s boardinghouse on his way to Osaka to move in with his brother, Yoseb. Sickly since birth, Baek Isak struggles with sickness until his death in Osaka.

Kyunghee — Kyunghee is Yoseb’s wife and Sunja’s best friend and sister-in-law. She plays a large part in helping Sunja support their families in living, helping Sunja prepare kimchi to sell.

Yoseb — Yoseb is Baek Isak’s brother who lives in Osaka, Japan. He works in a factory to support his family. He lives in Ikaino in Osaka, where most Koreans in Osaka are known to live. He receives a job opportunity in Nagasaki in 1945.[3]: 202  He becomes very injured in the subsequent bombing of Nagasaki.

Koh Hansu — Koh Hansu is a Korean man who was adopted into a family of organized crime in Japan. Using his connections, Koh Hansu continually strives to earn money and control what he can. Hansu meets Sunja in Korea, even though he has a wife in Japan. Throughout the novel, Hansu utilizes his influence to look after Sunja and her family, keeping them alive. Hansu is driven by his love for his only son, Noa.

Noa — Noa is the only son of Koh Hansu and Sunja. He attends Waseda University in Tokyo before moving to Nagano to start a new life away from Hansu and Sunja. He struggles with identity issues stemming from his biological father’s associations with the yakuza.

Mozasu — Mozasu is the only son of Baek Isak and Sunja. He faces constant bullying in school and tends to retaliate with force. As a result, he drops out of school and begins an apprenticeship at a pachinko parlor as a guard. Eventually, he moves up in the ranks and establishes his own parlors. Mozasu marries a girl named Yumi and has one son, Solomon.

Solomon — Solomon is the only son of Mozasu and Yumi. Growing up, Solomon does not face many of the same issues as his father or grandmother, since his father is very wealthy. Torn about what he wants to do with his life, he visits America and eventually decides that he wants to enter the pachinko business like his father.

Pachinko is the second novel by Harlem-based author and journalist Min Jin Lee. Published in 2017, Pachinko is an epic historical fiction novel following a Korean family that immigrates to Japan. The character-driven story features an ensemble of characters who encounter racism and racial profiling, stereotyping, and other aspects of the 20th-century Korean experience of Japan.[1] Pachinko was a 2017 finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction. Apple Inc.’s streaming service Apple TV+ produced a television adaptation of the novel and it was released in March 2022.

  1. Chapter One
    Air date: Mar 25, 2022
    In 1920s Korea, Yangjin and Hoonie shield their only child, Sunja, from the realities of life under colonial rule; in 1989, Solomon closes a big deal.
  1. Chapter Two
    Air date: Mar 25, 2022
    Hansu opens Sunja’s eyes to the world, but it inspires dreams that come at a price; Solomon attempts to leverage his Korean identity.
  1. Chapter Three
    Air date: Mar 25, 2022
    Sunja discovers surprising new details about Hansu; Solomon looks to his grandmother for help.
  1. Chapter Four
    Air date: Apr 1, 2022
    Newlywed Sunja embarks on an epic journey that takes her far from the comforts of home; Solomon gets ready for his bid day.
  1. Chapter Five
    Air date: Apr 8, 2022
    As she arrives in Japan with her husband, Sunja must depend on the help of others; Solomon copes with the aftermath of his deal.
  1. Chapter Six
    Air date: Apr 15, 2022
    Based on the New York Times bestseller, this sweeping saga chronicles the hopes and dreams of a Korean immigrant family across four generations as they leave their homeland in an indomitable quest to survive and thrive.
  1. Chapter Seven
    Air date: Apr 22, 2022
    Based on the New York Times bestseller, this sweeping saga chronicles the hopes and dreams of a Korean immigrant family across four generations as they leave their homeland in an indomitable quest to survive and thrive.
  1. Chapter Eight
    Air date: Apr 29, 2022
    Based on the New York Times bestseller, this sweeping saga chronicles the hopes and dreams of a Korean immigrant family across four generations as they leave their homeland in an indomitable quest to survive and thrive.

Based on the New York Times bestseller, this sweeping saga chronicles the hopes and dreams of a Korean immigrant family across four generations


Pachinko asks us to question just how much the world has improved when the people held down by misogyny, classism, and xenophobia are the very people instrumental to industrial and financial progress.

Peter Ahn

Peter Ahn

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