Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire: Season 1, Episode 2

The Will of the Shogun (2 Jun. 2004)

TV Episode  -  Documentary | History
7.8
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With Ieyasu in control, peace descends on Japan, and a new society based on the samurai ethics of obedience and loyalty is established. In 1600, William Adams becomes the first Englishman ... See full summary »

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Title: The Will of the Shogun (02 Jun 2004)

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Michael Auslin ...
Himself - Nikko Toshogu Shrine
Beatrice M. Bodart-Bailey ...
Herself - Otsuma Women's University
...
Narrator
Michael Cooper ...
Himself - Former editor, 'Monumenta Nipponica'
Ryonosuke Etoh
Mariko Fujiwara
...
Court Chronicler
Daisuke Igakura
James Kent
Isao Machii
Marco Neves ...
Joao Rodrigues (voice)
Herbert Plutschow ...
Himself - UCLA
Alexei Podtheko
Luke S. Roberts ...
Himself - UC Santa Barbara
Toshihiro Satô
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Storyline

With Ieyasu in control, peace descends on Japan, and a new society based on the samurai ethics of obedience and loyalty is established. In 1600, William Adams becomes the first Englishman to set foot in Japan. Impressed by European trading vessels, Ieyasu asks Adams to help him build his own fleet. Aware that the English have no interest in converting the Japanese to Christianity, Ieyasu decides to expel the Portuguese and Spanish, who too often combine missionary work with trade. When he dies at 72, Ieyasu's vision of a strictly controlled class system based on the rule of the samurai is a reality. But his grandson, Iemitsu, will rule more harshly. With no wars to fight, Iemitsu tightens control over the power and movement of the daimyo and their restless samurai armies. Though foreign missionaries have been expelled, Iemitsu still fears the influence of Christianity. In 1637, impoverished peasants and persecuted Christians explode in anger in the Shimabara Rebellion, and thousands ... Written by Anonymous

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2 June 2004 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
A worthy followup to the great first episode.
3 August 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is the second episodes of an excellent three-part series on the Tokugawa period--from the late 16th century through the mid-19th century. While part one focused on the steps leading to the Tokugawa shogunate, part two is about the day to day life in the newly established regime. Most of this episode during the same time period as the TV mini-series "Shogun". Topics covered were the reigns of Ieyasu, the growing influence of the English, court intrigues, Iemitsu and his drive to eliminate foreigners and foreign religions in Japan, the peasant revolt and the odd treatment of women along the road from Tokyo to Kyoto.

While this portion isn't quite as interesting as part one, it is quite enjoyable and chock full of history. And, like the other episodes, is narrated by Richard Chamberlain (who starred in "Shogun"). Well worth seeing.


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