Shogun (1980)

TV Mini-Series  -   -  Adventure | Drama | History
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A English navigator becomes both a player and pawn in the complex political games in feudal Japan.

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Title: Shogun (1980– )

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Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1980  
Won 3 Golden Globes. Another 5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »
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An English navigator becomes both pawn and player in the deadly political games in feudal Japan.

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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 »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Anjin-san / ... (5 episodes, 1980)
...
 Lord Yoshi Toranaga (5 episodes, 1980)
...
 Lady Toda Buntaro - Mariko (5 episodes, 1980)
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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 | Add Synopsis


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Details

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Release Date:

15 September 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

James Clavell's Shogun  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(10 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Will Adams, the real-life English sea-captain and adventurer who made it to Japan in the 16th century, has a street named after him in Japan: Anjin-Cho. See more »

Goofs

After the storm at sea, Rodrigues is recovering and tells Blackthorn, "There's a bottle of grog over there. Bring it to me." The term "grog" came from a British Admiral named "Vernon," for whom Washington's estate "Mount Vernon" was named. Vernon habitually wore a coat made of "grogham," a coarse cloth of the 17th Century. He was referred to by his men as "Old Grogham." Vernon disapproved of the British Navy's tradition of giving the sailors a daily ration of rum. He watered down the rum that was passed out to the men. The men derisively referred to this watered rum ration as "grog." Thus the term "grog" did not enter the language until the 1760s and would not have been used in 1600. 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 »

Connections

Edited into Shogun (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

BLACKTHORNE'S SHANTY
Words and Music by Eric Bercovici
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User Reviews

Cool introduction to Clavell
14 April 2004 | by (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

One of the most famous mini-series in television history, "James Clavell's Shogun" tells the epic tale of an English pilot who is washed up on the shores of Japan in the 17th century and becomes involved in the local political struggles. "Shogun" proves to be both an engrossing story, and a fascinating piece of television history.

Based on the life of the English navigator William Adams, "Shogun" is a complex story that explores both the political struggles of Feudal Japan, as well as analyzes the cultural differences of East vs. West. The story revolves around Pilot Major John Blackthorne, played by Richard Chamberlain. Coerced by Catholic Portuguese missionaries, with whom the English were at war, the Japanese authorities, or daimyos, throw the shipwrecked Blackthorne and his ailing crew into prison, and torture them as pirates. We soon learn that Lord Toranaga, the most powerful daimyo in Japan, is in the midst of a power struggle that could possibly lead him to be Shogun--the most powerful military ruler in Japan. In a final interview before his execution, Toranaga sees Blackthorne as valuable, and he spares the Englishman's life. Toranaga decides to employ him in training his troops in the Western methods of battle to help them prepare for the upcoming war against his rival, Ishido. Along the way, the audience is given a fascinating introduction to Feudal Japan through Blackthorne's eyes.

Shot entirely in Japan, director Jerry London took great care in using authentic costumes and believable sets. The casting is commendable, with Richard Chamberlain embodying the perfect Blackthorne (his performance garnered an Emmy nomination in 1980). Lord Toranaga is played masterfully by Toshiro Mifune, who also appeared in Akira Kurasawa classics such as Yojimbo and The Hidden Fortress.

Without a doubt, "James Clavell's Shogun" is worth a watch.


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