A English navigator becomes both a player and pawn in the complex political games in feudal Japan.
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1,805 ( 89)

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1  
1980  
Won 3 Golden Globes. Another 5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »
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Set in the 17th Century, the story is told from the perspective of British hero John Blackthorne, a sailor who rises from outsider to samurai, while being used as a pawn in Japanese leader ... See full summary »

Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Anjin-san / ... (5 episodes, 1980)
...
 Lord Yoshi Toranaga (5 episodes, 1980)
...
 Lady Toda Buntaro - Mariko (5 episodes, 1980)
...
 Yabu (5 episodes, 1980)
...
 Father Dell'Aqua (5 episodes, 1980)
...
 Father Alvito (5 episodes, 1980)
...
 Vasco Rodrigues (5 episodes, 1980)
Vladek Sheybal ...
 Captain Ferriera (5 episodes, 1980)
Yûki Meguro ...
 Omi (5 episodes, 1980)
Hideo Takamatsu ...
 Lord Buntaro (5 episodes, 1980)
...
 Friar Domingo (5 episodes, 1980)
Nobuo Kaneko ...
 Ishido (5 episodes, 1980)
Hiromi Senno ...
 Fujiko (5 episodes, 1980)
George Innes ...
 Vinck (5 episodes, 1980)
...
 Father Sebastio (5 episodes, 1980)
Edward Peel ...
 Pieterzoon (5 episodes, 1980)
Eric Richard ...
 Maetsukker (5 episodes, 1980)
Steve Ubels ...
 Roper (5 episodes, 1980)
Stewart MacKenzie ...
 Croocq (5 episodes, 1980)
John J. Carney ...
 Gingel (5 episodes, 1980)
Ian Jentle ...
 Salamon (5 episodes, 1980)
Neil McCarthy ...
 Spillbergen (5 episodes, 1980)
...
 Specz (5 episodes, 1980)
Mika Kitagawa ...
 Kiku (5 episodes, 1980)
Seiji Miyaguchi ...
 Muraji (5 episodes, 1980)
Tôru Abe ...
 Hiromatsu (5 episodes, 1980)
Shin Takuma ...
 Naga (5 episodes, 1980)
Hyôe Enoki ...
 Jirobei (5 episodes, 1980)
Miiko Taka ...
 Kiri (5 episodes, 1980)
Midori Takei ...
 Sono (5 episodes, 1980)
Ai Matsubara ...
 Rako (5 episodes, 1980)
Yumiko Morishita ...
 Asa (5 episodes, 1980)
Hiroshi Hasegawa ...
 Galley Captain (5 episodes, 1980)
Akira Sera ...
 Old Gardener (5 episodes, 1980)
Rin'ichi Yamamoto ...
 Yoshinaka (5 episodes, 1980)
Yûko Kada ...
 Sazuko (5 episodes, 1980)
Masumi Okada ...
 Brother Michael (5 episodes, 1980)
Yôsuke Natsuki ...
 Zataki (5 episodes, 1980)
Takeshi Ôbayashi ...
 Urano (5 episodes, 1980)
Yoshie Kitsuda ...
 Kyoko (5 episodes, 1980)
Masashi Ebara ...
 Suga (5 episodes, 1980)
Setsuko Sekine ...
 Genjiko (5 episodes, 1980)
Atsuko Sano ...
 Lady Ochiba (5 episodes, 1980)
...
 Narrator (5 episodes, 1980)
Edit

Storyline

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) »

Taglines:

All the conflict, adventure and intrigue of feudal Japan ... See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

15 September 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

James Clavell's Shogun  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(10 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the English-language original version the narration was done by Orson Welles. See more »

Goofs

Blackthorne says to Toranaga that Portugal and Spain had shared the world between them through the "Treaty of Zaragoza". In fact that division was made by the "Treaty of Tordesilhas" (1494), signed by King João II of Portugal and King Fernando and Queen Isabel of Spain. The "Treaty of Zaragoza" was signed by King John III of Portugal and Emperor Carlos V in 1529 and its only aim was to clarify the question about the control over the Maluki Islands. See more »

Quotes

[after Blackthorne's guard prevented an assassination attempt by Rodrigues]
Pilot-Major John Blackthorne: Captain Yoshinaka was right to search him. Was that your idea?
Lady Toda Buntaro - Mariko: Please excuse me, but I was afraid for you.
Pilot-Major John Blackthorne: Sad, isn't it? Not being able to trust anyone.
Lady Toda Buntaro - Mariko: It is not sad, Anjin-san. It is just one of life's most important rules.
See more »


Soundtracks

BLACKTHORNE'S SHANTY
Words and Music by Eric Bercovici
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rich and fulfilling, a great adaptation of Clavell's masterpiece
2 February 2006 | by (Switzerland) – See all my reviews

In 1976, James Clavell wrote an epic masterpiece: the story of Blackthorne, an English sailor lost in Feudal Japan. He gradually finds his place, oft the central pawn of political intrigues between various foreign powers and the local warlords. In 1980, this miniseries was unleashed on the world and created a whole new audience for the mammoth bestseller. No small feat considering the length and complexity of Clavell's 1200+ page door-stopper. Clocking in at almost 10 hours, this mega-budgeted series delivers the goods. People who have seen "The Last Samurai" might see a few plot similarities (even in certain smaller details: Tom Cruise sports exactly the same haircut as Richard Chamberlain). With all respect for the 2003 film, Shogun is far out of it's reach.

Richard Chamberlain embodies Blackthorne to perfection, successfully gaining our empathy through an ambiguous yet very human performance. Supporting him are Japanese icon Toshiro Mifune as the shrewd warlord and aspiring shogun Torunaga, who befriends/manipulates Blackthorne, and Yoko Shimada as Blackthorne's translator, confident and friend. Every actor gives life to Clavell's carefully drawn and layered characters (most of all a very bombastic John Rhys-Davies). For a television miniseries, the technical specs are quite surprisingly good. Indeed the budget must have been quite important (and set a record at the time) but never is the story or it's rhythm scarified to show-off. The direction and photography are quite tasteful, often reminiscent of early Kurosawa, only in color. Maurice Jarre's score might not reach the lofty heights of his work for David Lean but it serves it's purpose.

Many will tell you that the book is better. It is certainly more intimate and detailed, but a more faithful and excellent adaptation of such a rich book you are not likely to see anytime soon. For anyone with a taste for epics, Japan or just plain good entertainment, this is essential viewing.


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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
Boiling scene kristijan_bagi
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