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FX reaches back over 400 years for its next series, adapting hit novel 'Shogun'

50 Comments
By MARK KENNEDY

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50 Comments
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The movie is going to have to be much better than the book. I couldn't get through it and gave up halfway through.

-20 ( +4 / -24 )

The book wasn't exactly accurate, though it did have some points that were correct. It will be interesting if the series will be more to actual Japanese culture than the book was, or continue various Americanisms from the book.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Great 1980 TV drama series.

he initially couldn't put it down. That's because he was reluctant to pick it up.

Come on. Probably one of the worst hooks ever

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

The book wasn't exactly accurate, though it did have some points that were correct. It will be interesting if the series

It's a novel.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

I thought the book was a lot better and more accurate than its reputation among the Japanophiles.

if the book was “blue eyes watching Japan,” the FX series puts on “Japanese lenses.”

Why should it do that? Wil Adams' real life experience was extraordinary, if not unique. His observations are invaluable to this day. If there was a series about the first Japanese person to live in the America's wild west, for example, it would be kinda dull if filtered through an "American lens."

7 ( +9 / -2 )

and a love story between Blackthorne and translator Lady Mariko (Anna Sawai).

Lady Mariko was an interpreter, not a translator. There's a difference.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Not surprising. Currently Western culture is into destroying its heritage and a country that has a respect for its history is very appealing.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Great entertainment I suppose for Japan newbies.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Sounds rather boring to me, the same old tiresome silliness.

-17 ( +1 / -18 )

I enjoyed the book and the original series. Those, and dating the Japanese exchange student at my high school (hi, Aya-san, hope you're well) are what started my interest in Japan and my desire to come here.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Both the series and book triggered a wave of interest in feudal Japan, from kids playing with toy katanas to video games to Tom Cruise starring in “The Last Samurai.”

"The Last Samurai" was released in 2003, 28 years after the book.

I think the wave of interest had long since ebbed....

BertieWooster same here. It was long, tedious and flat out boring. I lasted 3 or 4 chapters before fixing my attention on something more enjoyable;....watching paint dry.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

I enjoyed Last Samurai. I have never read the Shogun book. What's it like compared to 平家物語?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Read the book and watched the TV series. Enjoyed both. Also watched Tom Cruise in “The Last Samurai.”

0 ( +6 / -6 )

American novel featuring a Japanese samurai? I wouldn't be surprised if the Shogun joined the Avengers in a sequel.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Soon after Adams' arrival in Japan, he became a key advisor to the Tokugawa Ieyasu.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Soon after Adams' arrival in Japan, he became a key advisor to the Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Was he the model for the narrator in Last Samurai?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Was he the model for the narrator in Last Samurai?

I don't think so. The narrator was an English professor (I think) who advised the Meiji Emperor. He grew to respect Tom because of his skills and being the main man

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Please don't ruin It..

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Like Netflix does..

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Both the series and book triggered a wave of interest in feudal Japan, from kids playing with toy katanas to video games to Tom Cruise starring in “The Last Samurai.”

You Only Live Twice (James Bond) got me interested. Who says orientalism is all bad? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orientalism_(book)

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It looks good.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I liked reading The Tale of Genji more. And the movies 1951 and 1987.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

The novel was not written for a Japanese audience nor was the miniseries filmed for them. As for gaijin in Japan … I imagine there were lovers and haters - ever true of gaijin when confronted with their “otherness”.

Plus it sounded culturally out of step.

Out of step with modern Japanese culture? No, again, the screenplay was not written for them. I suppose he means the current culture of America, Britain, and Europe.

This time around will late 16th century Japan be populated by blacks and ostentatiously “powerful women” (as was 13th century Nottingham in a reincarnation of Robin Hood 10 years ago), and assorted members of the LGBTQ2S+ “community”?

In other words, will the screenwriter recreate a Japan to please foreigners - as Clavell did in 1975? The answer obviously is YES. Follow the money.

All of that said, if one accepts it as the fiction it is, it should offer great escapism.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

When I came here 30 years ago I would watch all the NHK Samurai dramas but after a few years became bored.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Saw article's headline, assumed it meant FTX, notorious offshore digital exchange that went bankrupt. FTX series soon, thus my mistaken assumption. FX, sophisticated updated version of T. Cruise Last Samurai, please enjoy!

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Another big production filmed in British Columbia. Can't wait to see it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Another big production filmed in British Columbia. Can't wait to see it.

With Hollywood money funding it.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

@Anonymous,

In Feudal Japan they didn’t have a concept of hetero/ homosexuality and daimyo would often sleep with anyone, men included, while away from their families in Edo for years at a time. So I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a gay storyline in the series as it wouldn’t be historically inaccurate. Straight and gay is a western import. Japanese really didn’t have labels.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I cant trust them to not unnecessarily “diversify” this.

so I will watch until they do that then I’m done.

The original was great as is the book.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

Gee, Sanada doesnt seem to have aged much since The Last Samurai.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

When I came here 30 years ago I would watch all the NHK Samurai dramas but after a few years became bored.

If only those NHK samurai dramas had a Japanese name...

One for the newbies

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiga_drama

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If only those NHK samurai dramas had a Japanese name..

An expert like you already knows all the names.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Quite a few posters seem to think Clavells Shogun was supposed to be 100% factual, a history textbook.

It was a novel, combining some historical elements with fiction. Hard for some to get their heads around perhaps?

I'm looking forward to this series - Hiroyuki Sanada is an excellent actor, as are the other cast.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

WOW! Just can't wait to see Remake/Reboot Number 78,995! I hope it will be better than the last, exact same story I saw before! I wonder if the ending will be 100% predictable, or only 99% predictable this time? Oh, the suspense!

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. BORING!!

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

The book was great, as was the 1980 TV miniseries.

I shudder at the thought of how much this remake is going to mess it all up.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

TokyoLiving Today  11:09 am JST

Please don't ruin It.

Alas, if it's anything like most remakes, they probably will.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Quite a few posters seem to think Clavells Shogun was supposed to be 100% factual, a history textbook.

It was a novel, combining some historical elements with fiction. Hard for some to get their heads around perhaps?

Yep, agree with you on that.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The original Shogun drama was shot in 姫路城. That was my first experience of Japanese culture. I'm sure this new series will do just as a good job.

I read most of 源氏物語 but stop once the hero died. I regretted not finishing it because I'll doubt I'll ever read it again. It is interesting to get an idea of Heian period culture but plot wish Shogun is much better.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Quite a few posters seem to think Clavells Shogun was supposed to be 100% factual, a history textbook.

It was a novel, combining some historical elements with fiction. Hard for some to get their heads around perhaps?

There's even a literary genre for it - historical fiction. Not sure why some folks get so wound up about errors or inaccuracies. I guess the same crowd that complained about Ziyi Zhang playing a Japanese character in the film version of Memoirs of a Geisha.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I guess the same crowd that complained about Ziyi Zhang playing a Japanese character in the film version of Memoirs of a Geisha.

And the Lucy Liu character in Kill Bill. People went bonkers

Not sure why some folks get so wound up about errors or inaccuracies.

Beats me. But when they do it seems they are grandstanding. I always think of the Lao Tsu who famously said "those who speak don't know"

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The story is based on a true historical figure, Willam Adam AKA Miura Anjin who did reach Japan in the start ofthe 17th century who was befriend Tokugawa Ieyasu.

He was promoted as a samurai and stayed in Japan till the end.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This time around will late 16th century Japan be populated by blacks and ostentatiously “powerful women” (as was 13th century Nottingham in a reincarnation of Robin Hood 10 years ago), and assorted members of the LGBTQ2S+ “community”?

I’d say that’s a no-brainer! Hey, Blackthorne himself may well be black this time around.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The book wasn't exactly accurate, though it did have some points that were correct. It will be interesting if the series will be more to actual Japanese culture than the book was, or continue various Americanisms from the book.

That's awesome that you were able to be there and witness it first hand! Tell us what it was like, o wise one!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Hey, Blackthorne himself may well be black this time around.

If Blackthorne isnt black this time I’ll be making some serious allegations of racism!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Watched the first 2 episodes. It feels very authentic and rich in visually and culture wise for the period. I listened to the audiobook a few times years back and thought it was a great piece. Not perfect but very well written. Living in Japan it really put alot of the traditions and current behaviors into context as alot of the loyalty to country and family are still deep in the blood in my opinion. Greatly recommended. Unfortunately or fortunately we can never experience that period of time in. Feudal Japan but this I thing gives a nice experience. I've heard some mention the last Samurai and I'll say this is not as westernized as that. Last Samurai is more fantasy than fiction. I do recommend the movie When the last sword was drawn. It's a beautiful piece ,

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Real History Behind FX’s ‘Shogun’

A new adaptation offers a fresh take on James Clavell’s 1975 novel, which fictionalizes the stories of English sailor William Adams, shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu and Japanese noblewoman Hosokawa Gracia

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-real-history-behind-fxs-shogun-180983848/?utm_source=flipboard&utm_content=topic%2Fjapan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Watched the first episodes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just saw the first 2 episodes.

It looks much better than the old TV series.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I watched the first two episodes last night. Very well done. But it threw me off a little as it was very Japanese, but also very clearly Canada to my eyes, since it basically looks exactly like where I live. They did a good job of bringing a piece of Japan to Canada.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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