I can’t afford to do anything, but I’d want to give you a taste of the rice from our homeland. Meg would like to send it as well. Even so, I’d like to show them. I’d like to feed them and then send them on their way.
In Apple TV+’s original ‘Pachinko,‘ which recounts the lives and hopes of four generations of Korean immigrant families, white rice is a key ingredient.
Seon-Ja’s mother, Yang-jin, requests an elderly grain seller to sell only two hops of rice during a period when white rice could not be eaten even if there was money due to rice exploitation in Japan. The grain seller is frustrated that she can’t sell rice because of Japanese monitoring, and Yang-Jin tells her that there’s nothing she can do to help her daughter, and she begs if she may taste our rice again. When the merchant hears this, she encourages Yangjin to swallow her sorrow and surreptitiously give out three hops of rice instead of two.
After that, the screen captures Yangjin’s two-minute treatment of the hard-earned rice. She presents it to her daughter and son-in-law, Isaac, after carefully cleaning it several times, placing it in the cauldron, and filling her rice bowl. Yang Jin’s activities are elevated by the sound of a hymn playing in the background. She explains how difficult and special it was to eat white rice at the time, in contrast to the boarders who ate crumbly barley rice.
Seonja, who ate white rice, sobs uncontrollably. This is because it expresses the mother’s desire to feed her daughter a dinner made from our rice before she needs to leave for Japan while she is still pregnant. This is comparable to the Han of many Koreans who were unable to accept ours.
After that, white rice serves as a conduit for Seonja’s memories of his hometown. Seon-Ja, who has relocated to Japan, is moved to tears when he sees Isaac’s (Noh Sang-Hyun) and his brother-in-law’s white rice. Even after all these years, the recollections are still clear. Seon-Ja eats white rice from Grandma Zainichi, whom he met in Tokyo to assist his grandson Solomon (Jin-ha) in selling real estate. Grandma Tokyo says with a smile as Seon-ja opens her eyes wide as if astonished after taking a bite. “You seem to have a good sense of taste.” Seonja, engrossed in the recollections, says, “The white rice reminds me of the day we got married,” his eyes blushing.
“Mr. Seonja must have been strong because he ate and grew up like this,” Isaac says, looking at the white rice and food Yangjin provided. The hearts of Koreans who have survived and endured despite their sad history, as well as the deeper emotion of justice, and “rice” delicately captured in “Pachinko.”
“It may be simple to purchase rice for your daughter and cook it,” producer Sue Hue, who was in charge of the writing and overall production, said in a video interview. “It was something I wanted to show you.”
He went on to remark, that Koreans claim that Han is inscribed on them, but I’m not sure if this is due to Korean trauma. I didn’t grow up in Korea, but I understand the hardships that prior generations have gone through, and I wanted to do this piece with respect to them. Source (1)