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Shogun (1980)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Adventure, Drama, History
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 8,665 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 26 critic

A English navigator becomes both a player and pawn in the complex political games in feudal Japan.

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Won 3 Golden Globes. Another 5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete series cast summary:
 Anjin-san / ... (5 episodes, 1980)
 Lord Yoshi Toranaga (5 episodes, 1980)
 Lady Toda Buntaro - Mariko (5 episodes, 1980)


John Blackthorne, an English ship pilot, whose vessel wrecked upon the Japanese coast in the early 16th century is forced to deal with the two most powerful men in Japan in these days. He is thrown in the midst of a war between Toranaga and Ishido, who struggle for the title of Shogun which will give ultimate power to the one who possesses it. Written by Harald Mayr <marvin@bike.augusta.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

japan | shogun | power | warlord | battle | See All (50) »


A nation of violence, Samurai warriors ... and forbidden love. See more »


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Parents Guide:







Release Date:

15 September 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

James Clavell's Shogun  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(10 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Just one week before production, the Japanese actress chosen for the role of Mariko left the project--she was a singer and had to go on tour. This was a major headache for the team. Still, production was not stopped and a whole month was shot before Yôko Shimada was hired to play Mariko. See more »


The Portuguese Governor of Macau and captain of the "Black Ship", is named "Ferriera". That name doesn't exist - it is an obvious confusion with "Ferreira", one of the most common Portuguese surnames. See more »


Vasco Rodrigues: Listen to me, you whore-gutted, pock-marked, motherless scum... I need a favor.
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Words and Music by Eric Bercovici
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User Reviews

still worthwhile
15 November 2003 | by (Austin Texas) – See all my reviews

I first saw the mini-series on TV when it came out. I was like millions of other viewers who made sure they were home night after night to see this epic. Now that it's out on DVD, how could I resist? Seeing it on a much bigger screen than existed in the early 80's, I immediately was appalled by the bad hair pieces of almost all of the Japanese actors. It took a while to get used to the seams and wrinkled skullcaps and the makeup that didn't really match. The only other "ouch" moment, for me, came in the opening shot of the "Erasmus" being filmed from a helicopter with Orson Welles narration. It was impressive up until the helicopter shadow goes right over the boat and the water!..... I was amazed that wasn't edited out in post. Ah well. When you watch the bonus material, you get an idea of what a monumentally difficult project this was from the language and custom difficulties to the famous TOHO Studios being about 25 years behind the times with their equipment...not to mention the tank where the shipwreck was filmed. I don't know if I agree with the director and producers that if it wasn't for 'Shogun' sushi would not be as popular in the U.S. as it has become, but it certainly sparked an ongoing interest in Japanese history and culture in me. It will always be one of the crowning achievements for television. It's a miracle that it came off as beautifully as it did. Just don't watch the 2-hour mess that is on video.

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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Chamberlain -- WRONG!!!! marjoriem
Blackthorne too modern + gentle!! bkdsl
Why do people believe Shogun is so great? big_algti
Remake possibilities? Katya0779
I don't understand the ending springxtime
Time for a remake? eddiec-1
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