An English navigator becomes both pawn and player in the deadly political games in feudal Japan.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Friar Domingo
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Omi
Noburo Kaneko ...
George Innes ...
Vinck
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Father Sebastio
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tôru Abe ...
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Narrator (voice)
John J. Carney ...
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Storyline

In the 16th Century, a Dutch ship sails the Pacific from the Americas in order to escape the Spanish. Blackthorn is the pilot of the ship and the first to realize the possibilities of Japan. Japan is a feudal society which has a strong presence of the Portugese. A struggle is in the final stages for who will be the Shogun, the leader who, under the emperor, governs the land. Toranaga sees in Blackthorn things he can use to at least survive the struggle to come, and if both play their hands correctly, become Shogun. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

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Release Date:

15 September 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

James Clavell's Shogun  »

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| (Glen Glenn Sound)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The garden where Lord Toranaga with a little boy meets Blackthorn is Genkyu-en Garden in Hikone. So the castle at the backdrop of the garden is Hikone Castle. See more »

Goofs

It is mentioned that the use of wheels is forbidden in Japan. When Father Alvito and his followers split off from Blackthorne and Mariko they take a road that clearly shows signs of wear by wheels. See more »

Quotes

Father Alvito: You are a heretic Dutchman pirate! You're going to die.
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Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Bruce Dern/Leon Redbone (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Extremely well made, but pales when compared to the book
10 March 2003 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

James Clavell's Shogun, the first book in his epic asian saga, was a modern masterpiece. It showed completely the culture clashes between two nations at the opposite ends of the world, as Pilot John Blackthorne is thrust into the midst of a Japanese feudal war between Lords Ishido and Toranaga. Whilst in 'the land of the gods', Blackthorne becomes engaged in a passionate and tragic relationship with the married Mariko, while the two obstinate men, Toranaga and Blackthorne learn to respect one another's cultures and ideologies. With this ten-hour miniseries, television comes as close as it possibly can to paralleling the adventure realized so clearly in the pages, yet unfortunately, that's not quite close enough. True this is the first great miniseries, and a excellent work in it's own right. Yet when compared to the book, it simply fails to convey the effect. One noticeable problem is the casting of Richard CHamberlain as John Blackthorne, whose appeaance doesn't suit the ruggedness of the character


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