Pachinko is a historical K -Drama based on the New York Times bestselling novel of the same name. Starring Academy Award winner Yuh Jung Youn, Lee Minho, Jin Ha, and Minha Kim, Pachinko tells the twists and turns of a family’s life from South Korea to Japan during World War II.
Reportedly, Pachinko will return for a second season in 2023. While waiting for the return of this drama, here are KDramas and other Korean movies with similar historical backgrounds to Pachinko.
1. Youth of May (2021)
This historical drama that focuses on the incident of the Gwangju Rebellion is a romantic Korean drama centered on the forbidden love conflict at that time. Highlights the love story of medical student Hwang Hee Tae (Lee Do Hyun) and nurse Kim Myung Hee (Go Min Si).
Instead of focusing on the outlines of the Gwangju Rebellion, this drama focuses on the love and friendship of young people during wartime. Unfortunately, the love story between Hwang Hee Tae and Kim Myung Hee did not run smoothly due to external factors from the rebellion in that era.
2. Minari (2020)
If you enjoyed Youn Yuh Jung’s performance in Pachinko , you must watch Minari, the movie for which she won an Academy Award. Minari highlights the story of a South Korean couple, who decide to move their American-born children out of town and live in a small town in Arkansas.
Equally highlighting the story of immigrants like Pachinko , the story of family, hope and perseverance in this movie can be enjoyed by generations. In the midst of the instability and struggles of life in a new place, Minari shows how tough a family can be in dealing with it.
3. Crash Landing on You (2020)
Who would have thought, starting with a paragliding incident, could create an uproar in the KDrama world. Tells the story of a successful South Korean businessman and heir to a chaebol (Son Ye Jin) who is swept away by a storm during paragliding, until he lands in the North Korean Demilitarized Zone.
Later, he meets a North Korean army captain (Hyun Bin) who decides to help him hide. Over time, they fall in love with each other and the story of this pair of two hostile countries cannot be separated from the spice of discord between their respective countries.
4. Mr. Sunshine (2019)
The tvN dropout drama starring Kim Tae Ri, Lee Byung Hun, Yoo Yeon Seok, and Kim Min Jung, Mr. Sunshine is a slick historical drama that combines impressive visuals with a very well-written story.
Tells the story of a young man who travels to the United States during 1871 and returns to his homeland as an American soldier. Then he met and fell in love with a noble’s daughter. Coupled with a row of top actors, Mr. Sunshine is one of the Korean dramas that is a pity to miss.
5. Hymn of Death (2018)
Based on the true story of Kim Woo Jin and Yun Shim Deok, Hymn of Death is a historical drama centered on on-stage drama writer Woo Jin (Lee Jong Suk) who lives in Korea under Japanese occupation. He falls in love with Yum Sim Deok (Shin Hye Sun), the first Korean soprano singer.
Unfortunately, their love story is hindered by social status. Kim Woo Jin is the only child from a rich family in Korea, while Yum Sim Deok comes from a poor family who is the breadwinner of the family. Until one day, Kim Woo Jin was betrothed by his father. But his feelings for Yum Sim Deok have not changed.
6. Chicago Typewriter (2017)
This drama tells the story of Han Se Joo (Yoo Ah In), a bestselling author who experiences writer’s block . After that traumatic event, he finds a magic typewriter that takes him to a past life during the 1930s Japanese occupation of Korea.
The plot of the drama moves back and forth from the present to the 1930s, which slowly unravels the mystery behind the characters and their past lives. The story gets even more exciting as the characters race against time to find the truth of the past that haunts them.
7. The Handmaiden (2016)
The Handmaiden tells the story of South Korea’s pathetic condition when it was under Japanese colonial rule in the 1930s. Highlighting the daily life of a young girl who works as a pickpocket, Nam Sook Hee (Kim Tae Ri), is hired to be a housekeeper for Hideko (Kim Min Hee), a Japanese heiress.
This was done on the orders of Count Fujiwara (Ha Jung-woo), a con man who wanted to get Hideko’s wealth. He hires Sook Hee to seduce Hideko into marrying him. At the 71st British Academy movie Awards, the movie won the category Best movie Not in the English Language .
8. Assasination (2015)
The movie is set in the 1930s Japanese occupation of Korea, highlighting the story of Yeom Seok Jin (Lee Jung Jae), a Korean resistance fighter who hires Ahn Ok Yoon (Jun Ji Hyun), a skilled sniper, to carry out an assassination plot.
Assassination is known for its star-studded cast and engaging espionage plots. It is also the eighth highest-grossing movie in Korean movie history with over 12.7 million viewers at the time of its release, so don’t skip it!
9. Gunman in Joseon (2014)
The drama is set during the Japanese occupation in 1876. After the death of his father and the enslavement of his younger sister, Park Yoon Kang (Lee Joon Gi) embarks on a mission of revenge and unwittingly becomes a hero to the people.
The KDrama series and Korean movies above can be an alternative to watch if you miss the Pachinko vibes series while waiting for the second season . Don’t forget to add it to your playlist, ok?