8.1/10
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An English navigator becomes both a player and pawn in the complex political games in feudal Japan.
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2,790 ( 35)

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1  
1980  
Won 3 Golden Globes. Another 5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Richard Chamberlain ...  Anjin-san / ... 5 episodes, 1980
Toshirô Mifune ...  Lord Yoshi Toranaga 5 episodes, 1980
Yôko Shimada ...  Lady Toda Buntaro - Mariko 5 episodes, 1980
Furankî Sakai ...  Yabu 5 episodes, 1980
Alan Badel ...  Father Dell'Aqua 5 episodes, 1980
Damien Thomas ...  Father Alvito 5 episodes, 1980
John Rhys-Davies ...  Vasco Rodrigues 5 episodes, 1980
Vladek Sheybal ...  Captain Ferriera 5 episodes, 1980
Yûki Meguro ...  Omi 5 episodes, 1980
Hideo Takamatsu Hideo Takamatsu ...  Lord Buntaro 5 episodes, 1980
Michael Hordern ...  Friar Domingo 5 episodes, 1980
Nobuo Kaneko ...  Ishido 5 episodes, 1980
Hiromi Senno Hiromi Senno ...  Fujiko 5 episodes, 1980
George Innes ...  Vinck 5 episodes, 1980
Leon Lissek ...  Father Sebastio 5 episodes, 1980
Edward Peel ...  Pieterzoon 5 episodes, 1980
Eric Richard ...  Maetsukker 5 episodes, 1980
Steve Ubels Steve Ubels ...  Roper 5 episodes, 1980
Stewart MacKenzie Stewart MacKenzie ...  Croocq 5 episodes, 1980
John J. Carney ...  Gingel 5 episodes, 1980
Ian Jentle Ian Jentle ...  Salamon 5 episodes, 1980
Neil McCarthy ...  Spillbergen 5 episodes, 1980
William Morgan Sheppard ...  Specz 5 episodes, 1980
Mika Kitagawa Mika Kitagawa ...  Kiku 5 episodes, 1980
Seiji Miyaguchi ...  Muraji 5 episodes, 1980
Tôru Abe Tôru Abe ...  Hiromatsu 5 episodes, 1980
Shin Takuma ...  Naga 5 episodes, 1980
Hyôe Enoki Hyôe Enoki ...  Jirobei 5 episodes, 1980
Miiko Taka ...  Kiri 5 episodes, 1980
Midori Takei Midori Takei ...  Sono 5 episodes, 1980
Ai Matsubara ...  Rako 5 episodes, 1980
Yumiko Morishita Yumiko Morishita ...  Asa 5 episodes, 1980
Hiroshi Hasegawa Hiroshi Hasegawa ...  Galley Captain 5 episodes, 1980
Akira Sera Akira Sera ...  Old Gardener 5 episodes, 1980
Rin'ichi Yamamoto Rin'ichi Yamamoto ...  Yoshinaka 5 episodes, 1980
Yûko Kada Yûko Kada ...  Sazuko 5 episodes, 1980
Masumi Okada Masumi Okada ...  Brother Michael 5 episodes, 1980
Yôsuke Natsuki Yôsuke Natsuki ...  Zataki 5 episodes, 1980
Takeshi Ôbayashi Takeshi Ôbayashi ...  Urano 5 episodes, 1980
Yoshie Kitsuda Yoshie Kitsuda ...  Kyoko 5 episodes, 1980
Masashi Ebara Masashi Ebara ...  Suga 5 episodes, 1980
Setsuko Sekine Setsuko Sekine ...  Genjiko 5 episodes, 1980
Atsuko Sano Atsuko Sano ...  Lady Ochiba 5 episodes, 1980
Orson Welles ...  Narrator 5 episodes, 1980
Edit

Storyline

Pilot-Major John Blackthorne (Richard Chamberlain), an English ship pilot, whose vessel wrecked upon the Japanese coast in the early seventeenth 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 Lord Yoshi Toranaga (Toshirô Mifune) and Ishido (Nobuo Kaneko), 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) »

Taglines:

A nation of violence, Samurai warriors ... and forbidden love. See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

15 September 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

James Clavell's Shogun See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (10 episodes)

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a Japanese television interview, made around the time of the filming, Toshirô Mifune stated that the original script had his character speaking modern Japanese, and that he corrected the anachronisms in the language, to forms that were more appropriate to Japanese, as it was spoken in the seventeenth century. See more »

Goofs

During the earthquake scene, when two of the "crevasses" open up to drop samurai into them, you can see the wooden planks used to loosely cover the crevasses so people could walk on them until their supports were blown, hidden by a thick layer of dirt. See more »

Quotes

Vasco Rodrigues: Listen to me, you whore-gutted, pock-marked, motherless scum... I need a favor.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1987 UK CIC video featured the shorter edited version and was cut by 10 secs by the BBFC to remove footage of Japanese throwing stars, and the same edits were maintained for the 1994 box set video release. DVD releases are uncut and feature the full original version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Just Shoot Me!: Nina's Birthday (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

BLACKTHORNE'S SHANTY
Words and Music by Eric Bercovici
See more »

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User Reviews

Cool introduction to Clavell
14 April 2004 | by ch_otchySee 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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