Everything you need to know about Lee Min Ho starrer Pachinko so far

Lee Min Ho's next drama is the Apple TV+ series Pachinko. Here's everything we know about the drama so far.

Updated on May 16, 2021   |  03:18 PM IST  |  770.2K
Lee Min Ho will be starring as Hansu in Pachinko
Lee Min Ho will be starring as Hansu in Pachinko (Pic credit - News1)

After the stupendous success of The King: Eternal Monarch, MINOZ (Lee Min Ho's fandom) are wondering what Pachinko, Lee Min Ho's next drama is all about. Lee Min Ho began filming for Pachinko last October, after wrapping his comeback drama, The King: Eternal Monarch. In an interview with GQ Korea, Lee Min Ho revealed that he was nervous and anxious because he was auditioning for a role almost after a decade in his career. He clarified that the audition was a means to test his capabilities as an actor and he was determined to bag the role, so he worked hard to prepare for the audition, and passed it with flying colours.

Here's everything you know about the highly-anticipated drama so far.

What is the book about?

Pachinko is the second novel by Korean-American author Min Jin Lee. Pachinko is an epic historical fiction novel that follows four generations of a Korean immigrant family, telling their saga that unfolds across Korea, Japan, and the United States. The character-driven saga features an interesting ensemble of characters who are subjected to issues of racism and stereotypes, among other events with historical origins in the 20th-century Korean experiences with Japan.

Pachinko was a 2017 finalist for the National Book Award for fiction. Apple Inc.'s streaming service Apple TV+ has purchased the rights for a television adaptation of the novel. The cast was finalised soon after.

A little more about Pachinko (TV Series)

Pachinko is an eight-episode Apple TV+ series that began filming last October. It tells the story of ethnic Koreans in Japan, known as Zainichi Koreans, who face severe discrimination. The title 'Pachinko,' means is a vertical pinball machine game mostly used for gambling in Japan. Here it symbolizes the struggle that Zainichi Koreans had to go through. The only employment Zainichi Koreans could find was that of owning a pachinko parlour, because the job market in Japan rejected them. An estimated 80 percent of pachinko parlour owners in Japan were by Zainichi Korean.

The cast

Lee Min Ho headlines the series and is supported by the other cast members. The star-studded cast includes Jin Ha, Anna Sawai, Minha Kim, Soji Arai, Kaho Minami, Jung Eun-Chae and Oscar-winning actress, Youn Yuh Jung. Co-incidentally Youn Yuh Jung's character is named Sunja, which is also the name of her character in the Oscar-nominated film, Minari.

Lee Min Ho will also be reuniting with his The King: Eternal Monarch co-star, Jung Eun Chae, who is all set to play Kyunghee in the series.

Lee Min Ho

Lee Min Ho will be playing the role of Koh Hansu, a Korean man who was adopted into a rich, prominent family in Japan. He uses his connections to continually earn money and control whatever is in his power to control. Hansu is described as an opportunist and a fiercely ambitious man but is pure-hearted when it comes to love. He’s a mysterious character who is nurturing a dangerous secret and pursues a forbidden romance.


Hansu meets Sunja in Korea and falls in love, even though he has a wife in Japan. According to the novel, Hansu utilizes his power and influence to look after Sunja and her family, helping to keep them alive and well. Hansu is driven by his love for his only son, Noa. Noa is Sunja and Hansu's son. Sunja rejects Hansu's love and quietly accepts her fate of leading a life full of struggle and hardship with Baek Isak.

In an interview with GQ Korea, Lee Min Ho stated that Hansu is "a rich and powerful merchant with ties to organized crime.” Sunja will be played by Oscar-winning actress Youn Yuh Jung in the TV series, Pachinko. Minha Kim will be playing the role of the younger Sunja in the show.


The drama’s showrunner, executive producer, and main writer is Soo Hugh. Kogonada and Justin Chon will each be directing four episodes. Author Min Jin Lee will also be the executive producer on the show.


In an interview with GQ Korea, Lee Min Ho revealed that the cast of Pachinko wrapped in Busan, South Korea in December 2020. They flew to Canada to film the next schedule of Pachinko in February and wrapped filming in Vancouver in April. Lee Min Ho posted a series of serene snow-clad pictures to thank MINOZ for their continuous love and support.

When is it going to air?


It is reported that the series will air sometime towards the end of the year. No official confirmation on the release date yet. Fans can watch the series on Apple TV+

ALSO READ: Why Pachinko may prove to be a career defining move for Lee Min Ho

Are you excited about Pachinko? Share your thoughts with Pinkvilla in the comments below.

About The Author

Journalist. Perennially hungry for entertainment. Carefully listens to everything that start with "so, last night...". C... Read more

Credits: News1,GQ Korea,Koreajoongangdaily

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Apr 16, 2023
I found the series to be so educating and just loved the d
Apr 16, 2023
I found the series to be so educating and just loved the diverse