Sunja Leaves Home in this Exclusive Clip from 'Pachinko' Episode 4
Sunja learns the price of leaving her home country.
If you were stunned by the first three episodes of Pachinko, Apple TV+'s historical drama series based on Min Jin Lee's bestselling novel of a family living through the imperial Japanese occupation of Korea and its repercussions, we promise you, the good stuff is only just beginning. The show, which follows Sunja (played in three different eras of her life by Yu-na, Kim Min-ha, and Youn Yuh-jung), a Korean woman who starts a family in Japan, and her descendants who live through the second half of the twentieth century and its ever-changing sociopolitical landscape, is a masterwork that combines riveting plot with historically relevant detail, touching on the moments that defined Korea, Japan, and America during this time period.
In this clip from the fourth episode of the show, which debuts on Friday, Sunja, pregnant and newly married to Protestant minister Baek Isak (Steve Sanghyun Noh), who married her after she found out she'd conceived a child with wealthy yet dispassionate merchant Koh Hansu (Lee Min-ho), prepares to leave her home for the first time ever and move her new life to Japan. The reality of her situation is just now hitting her as she says goodbye to her mother and her friends at the boardinghouse her mother runs, one of whom gifts her a pair of carved wooden ducks, emphasizing that ducks are said to mate for life. It's an extravagant and generous gift, one that will likely help Sunja build her new life in a new country.
It's in small scenes like this that Pachinko builds its narrative, adding in character moments and cultural details here and there to recreate the tumultuous times in which the story is set. Kim Min-ha is stunning as young Sunja, playing the character with subtle body language and expressive glances that gradually come to mirror Youn Yuh-jung's elderly version: a woman whose experiences have given her a solid inner strength with which she steers her family into a new era.