The tale of Samurai and their leaders Ieyasu Tokugawa and Mitsunari Ishida who were locked into a power struggle after the death of the Taiko, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Ieyasu's and Mistunari's ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Hiroshi Katsuno ...
Hideie Ukita (as Henry Hayashi)
Koh Takeuchi ...
Hideyoshi Toyotomi
Kohei Mima ...
Tadayoshi Matsudaira
Kagekatsu Uesugi
Takahiro Hotta ...
Nobuyasu Matsudaira
Yusuke Tochio ...
Hideyori Toyotomi
Hiroaki Watanabe ...
Hidetada's aide
Michihiro Kinoshita ...
Ieyasu general
Toshiyuki Sasaki ...
Ieyasu general


The tale of Samurai and their leaders Ieyasu Tokugawa and Mitsunari Ishida who were locked into a power struggle after the death of the Taiko, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Ieyasu's and Mistunari's actions would develop into one of the biggest rivals in world history as Ieyasu increased his power over Japan, Mitsunari would secretly rally an army of rebels in hopes into overthrow Ieyasu, but it would be the Taiko's Nephew, Hideyaki and his forces who would not only escalate a civil war, but during the battle of Sekigahara the biggest samurai battle in Japanese history, would make a decision that would realize Ieyasu's power over Japan and create his Shogunate. Written by John Wiggins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Documentary | Drama






Release Date:

1 April 2008 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


The kind of suicide that Nobuyasu performs is called Seppuku (or Harakiri), where the person takes a dagger, shoves it in his stomach and slices it across the stomach. See more »


The narrator made numerous errors at the end of the show. First he stated that Ieyasu earned the title of the Shogun after he defeated Hideyori, the Tokugawa Shogunate was established in 1603, and the Seige of Osaka Castle was in 1614, 11 years after the Shogunate was established. Second he stated that the Shogunate would rule unchallenged for the next 250 years, again false. In 1638, Japanese Christians rose up in revolt against the Shogunate in Shimabara, sparking the Shumabara Rebellion. See more »


Tokugawa - Ieyasu: See that he does it, make sure he acts like a true samurai, like his brother did.
Naomasa: [Walking towards Hidetada, and then back inside with Tokugawa] You don't have to do this, your victory will make you the most powerful man in Japan. No one is making you do this.
[Tokuogawa walks towards Hidetada]
Hidetada: I'm sorry, father. I know my duty.
[Takes a dagger out of its holster and puts it against his neck]
Tokugawa - Ieyasu: 20 years ago, I had to prove my loyalty, and I lost a son. Now, my loyalty is to my family.
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User Reviews

well made doc
26 September 2016 | by See all my reviews

It's 16th century war-torn Japan. Tokugawa Ieyasu would win great daring battles and ruthless politics to become the Shogun. His dynasty would last 250 years. In 1598, a six year old is the heir after his dying ruler Taiko father. Ieyasu and his rival Ishida Mitsunari are sworn to protect the boy until he's old enough to rule. Tokugawa quickly plots using the boy and starts on his ruthless journey to rule the country himself. His own son Hidetada is eager and often acts rashly. A rebel lord rises in the east. Ieyasu needs the boy King's support and convinces his cousin guardian Hideaki. Ishida Mitsunari makes his move killing Mototada who served Ieyasu. This sets the two rivals on a final war path towards the Battle of Sekigahara. Ieyasu is outnumbered after his son Hidetada misuses half of the troops. Mitsunari expects support from Hideaki who commands the high ground. When all seems to be lost for Ieyasu, he deliberately fires on the indecisive Hideaki who he needs for help. Hideaki surprises Mitsunari by attacking him repaying a debt to Ieyasu. This is a well-made TV documentary program. It can be a little confusing with all the Japanese names. After watching it twice, it becomes crystal clear. The acting is superb. This is very informative and the story is compelling.

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