A English navigator becomes both a player and pawn in the complex political games in feudal Japan.
2,138 ( 122)

On Disc

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Won 3 Golden Globes. Another 5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »


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)
 Captain Ferriera (5 episodes, 1980)
 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)
 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)
 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)
 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)

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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 | epic | power | warlord | See All (51) »


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


See all certifications »

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:

| (Dolby Digital 5.1)| (DTS HD MASTER AUDIO 5.1 Mix)| (Glen Glenn Sound)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to the DVD documentary "The Making of Shogun", Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Albert Finney were all considered for the role of Blackthorne. Connery was James Clavell's choice for the role, but turned it down. See more »


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 »


[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 »


Referenced in Indiana Jones: Making the Trilogy (2003) See more »


Words and Music by Eric Bercovici
See more »

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User Reviews

The book is better, but not by too much
25 April 2004 | by (Arroyo Grande, California) – See all my reviews

I saw Shogun when it first came out in '80. I was blown away by the magnitude of this mini-series. It moved me as I hadn't been moved before by a simple TV program. It immerses you into the story in bitchin' fashion. Although it is fiction, writer James Clavell based it on in-depth historical knowledge of 17th century Japan.

It's a long ride (about 10 hours) but I very seldom got bored. This certainly hits home as a mans movie, with all the inherent violence and war that men do, but it also makes clear that women know men, and how to manipulate them. (Guys, they've had us by the short hairs for ages). I've heard there is a horrible 2 hour version of this floating around. Don't bother with that. Check the full 10 hour series.

I read the book in '82 and found out how much was missing from the series. Fantastic book! I suggest seeing the series before reading the book, as I did. If you read the book first, I'd imagine you'd be disappointed that the series left out so much information. But seeing the series first is a real eye-opener. I highly recommend it.

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