From Seoul to Japan: Lee Min Ho’s New Chapter in Pachinko

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In a bold move, South Korean sensation Lee Min Ho is set to redefine his image in the upcoming Apple TV+ drama “Pachinko,” slated to captivate audiences on March 25th. Based on the novel by Min Jin Lee, the historical epic delves into the narratives of four generations of Korean immigrants across Korea, the United States, and Japan.

Min Jin Lee is an American of Korean descent, drew inspiration for the novel from her family’s relocation from Seoul in 1976. The novel, published in 2017, garnered acclaim from critics, literary circles, and avid readers after three decades of meticulous research and writing.

“Pachinko,” a term intimately tied to the Korean-Japanese community, represents the mechanical gaming machines popularized in Japan, given the country’s prohibition of casinos. Even today, numerous pachinko parlors are owned by ethnic Koreans, illustrating a historical backdrop of economic marginalization. The drama weaves a narrative around this, exploring the intertwining of the underworld, ethnicity, and the perception of ‘dirty money.’

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“Pachinko” not only promises a riveting storyline but also ventures into the realms of forbidden love and family dramas, likely solidifying its status as the next big hit among Korean drama aficionados.

Lee Min Ho, known globally for his roles in hits like “The Heirs,” “The King: Eternal Monarch,” and “Boys Over Flowers,” and recognized for his consistently impeccable sense of style, takes center stage as Goh Hansu, a businessman entwined with criminal organizations. Despite initial reservations from the ‘Pachinko’ team due to his association with princely roles, Lee Min Ho embraces the challenge as a ‘new beginning’ for his career.

The multilingual complexity of the drama, shot in English, Korean, and Japanese, presented hurdles for the actor. Overcoming criticism of his language skills, Lee Min Ho reflected on the difficulties, emphasizing the effort required to express emotions in different languages. This linguistic endeavor was a fresh experience for the actor, showcasing his dedication to the craft.

As “Pachinko” unfolds its multilayered tale, Lee Min Ho’s transformative role and the drama’s exploration of cultural nuances promise a captivating viewing experience, inviting audiences to witness the actor’s evolution on a global stage.

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