James Clavell's Shōgun

James Clavell's Shōgun

DVD - 2003
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John Blackthorne is a ship-wrecked English navigator who becomes both an observer and a participant in historic changes in Japan during the Tokugawa, or, Edo period. Toranaga is a feuding warlord vying to become the supreme military dictator, or shōgun. Blackthorne is drawn into the turmoil and becomes determined to be the first foreigner to become a samurai warrior.
Publisher: Los Angeles : Paramount Home Video, c2003.
Edition: Full screen
ISBN: 9780792193326
Characteristics: 5 videodiscs (547 min.) :,sd., col. ;,12 cm.
Alternative Title: Shogun [dvd]


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Mar 05, 2019

Originally broadcast in 1980 based on the 1975 novel of the same name by James Clavell, this American TV miniseries depicts the adventures of English navigator William Adams, who journeyed to Japan in 1600 and rose to high rank in the service of the shōgun.
It follows fictional Englishman John Blackthorne's transforming experiences and political intrigues in feudal Japan in the early 17th century.
If you're a Japanese history buff, this is a must-see.

Mar 04, 2019

A very good synopsis by oatmeal_crispy, but he fails to mention the Portuguese who (albeit were under a Spanish crown with the Iberian Union) were mentioned thoroughout the series, as in the history books. First Europeans to the islands of Chipangu. How do like those maçãs?

oatmeal_crispy Mar 30, 2018

* Emmy for Outstanding Limited Series
* Golden Globe for Best TV Series (Drama)
* Peabody Award for Excellence
“There are no ‘mitigating circumstances’ when it comes to rebellion against a sovereign lord,” chided Lord Toranaga.
“Unless you win,” John Blackthorne replied.
To this, Lord Toranaga smiled and laughed.
  It is the year 1600. Europe is divided between Catholic and Protestant empires, with Spain and the Jesuits among the former and Elizabethan England with the Dutch among the latter. Across the world, Japan is likewise divided between its warring daimyo (大名), feudal lords who vie to become the shogun of Japan (将軍), the true power behind the Chrysanthemum Throne (高御座). And chief among these men is Yoshi Toranaga (Toshiro Mifune), Lord of the Kanto, a cunning warrior destined for greatness. It is Toranaga’s karma to rule, to become the shogun, but his star is impeded by time, etiquette, European intrigue, assassins, and several lesser daimyo.

  In the midst of this delicate time, a Dutch ship and its English navigator, John Blackthorne (Richard Chamberlain), are blown ashore after two desperate years at sea in search of Japan. These Dutch sailors are soon captured by Japanese troops allied to Spain and the crew imprisoned as rebels to their Spanish rulers. To spare the lives of his crew, Blackthorne makes a deal: he will submit himself to leader of his captors, Lord Toranaga. However, Blackthorne’s knowledge, instincts, and sheer luck soon prove him more valuable as a samurai (侍) and as a hatamoto (旗本) of he who is destined to rule.

  Before Martin Scorsese’s [Silence] and before [The Last Samurai], there was [Shogun], a nine-hour TV miniseries adapted from the epic novel by James Clavell, it being the third novel in Clavell’s The Asian Saga. The miniseries is a loose account of the events of 1600, through the eyes of English navigator William Adams, of the rise of Tokugawa Ieyasu, his escape from the council of regents (五大老), to the Battle of Sekigahara, and the shogunate of Japan. Even today, [Shogun] remains one of most audacious and influential TV productions. Never before had an American TV production crew gone to Japan to film a quality and intelligent series with Japanese actors in Japanese roles and dominate TV ratings. And what a cast!
  But, if samurai and katanas aren’t enough to pique your interest, [Shogun] also features ninja and John Rhys-Davies.
Selected Credits:
- Richard Chamberlain as John Blackthorne
- Toshiro Mifune as Lord Yoshi Toranaga
- Yoko Shimada as Lady Toda Mariko
- John Rhys-Davies as Vasco Rodrigues
- Damien Thomas as Martin Alvito
- Frankie Sakai as Lord Yabu
- Alan Badel as Father Dell’Aqua
- Yuki Meguro as Omi
- Vladek Sheybal as Captain Ferreira
- Directed by Jerry London
- Music by Maurice Jarre
- Narration by Orson Welles
Other Honours:
* Emmy for Outstanding Costume Design for a Series
* Emmy for Outstanding Graphic Design and Title Sequences
* Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Series (Drama) - Richard Chamberlain
* Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Series (Drama) - Yoko Shimada
* Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement

Dec 04, 2017

It really holds up from 1980. I recently saw checked it out. It seemed really long in 1980 now it seems like a season of something on Netflix. Beautifully done, well worth the time, it’s a great story.

Jun 19, 2017

Classic Watched it as a kid when it first aired and still love it . Love the book and lived in Japan when I was an adult all because of this movie I fell in love with a Japanese girl

Mar 05, 2017

Read the book & surprised hero was blond.
However, mini-series pretty much hewed to book.
Yes, the nudity & violence was surprising on then three network TV, pre-PPV & pre-internet.

d2013 Jan 07, 2016


Dec 27, 2015

This series is so dreamy and romantic that it keeps one enthralled and wanting more. Strong performances by everyone. Another classic that has not been tarnished by age.

May 04, 2013

To truly enjoy this wonderful set of DVDs one must read the epic novel first so that you have the patience to appreciate the brilliance of this master story teller. This 1980 made-for-television film starring Richard Chamberlain was originally shown over 5-evenings for 2 hours each, commercials included. Richard Chamberlain, the 1970s to 1990s undisputed king of made-for-TV films, was at his best in this series. I have read 'SHOGUN' the book twice and will read it again someday. It is one of my all time favourite books, well worth the time and effort. This made-for-TV roughly 8-hour film has: intrigue, a look into Japan’s history and culture, conspiracy, the history and philosophy of the Samurai, deception, great martial arts fighting, and romance; something for everyone. James Clavell is a master story teller; he spends an entire book setting the reader up and does a number on you in the last paragraph. The DVD cannot and does not quite have the same impact in the last minute of the film but it is by no means disappointing. Other than that small shortfall, the DVD set is well worth seeing. Senior Doctor-at-Bass! D. A.

Aug 28, 2012

My husband has long been infatuated with this series. I am not a person who likes blood or gore, but this movie caught my interest. Wierd, how none of the story actually pertains to the Shogun. Odd.

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Mar 05, 2017

Violence: Beheading & lots of sword fights.

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