Isaac Meyer

Historian, teacher, podcaster

Episode 30 – A Review of Shogun

This week we’ll be tackling our first media review and discussing by far the most influential piece of historical fiction ever written about Japan: Shogun, by James Clavell.

Listen to the episode here, and be sure to give me feedback on this one so I can improve the style for future review episodes!

Sources 

Milton, Giles. Samurai William: The Englishman Who Opened Japan.

Sansom, George. A History of Japan, Vol II: 1334-1615.

Images (Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation)

James Clavell, author of Shogun.

James Clavell, author of Shogun.

The first-edition cover of Shogun upon its release in 1975.

The first-edition cover of Shogun upon its release in 1975.

William Adams, the real-life navigator upon whom James Blackthorne is based, eventually became quite famous in England. Prints like this one helped disseminate his story in England.

William Adams, the real-life navigator upon whom James Blackthorne is based, eventually became quite famous in England. Prints like this one helped disseminate his story in England.

Detail from a map of Japan (used as the logo for this site on Facebook!) showing the real William Adams meeting Tokugawa Ieyasu for the first time.

Detail from a map of Japan (used as the logo for this site on Facebook!) showing the real William Adams meeting Tokugawa Ieyasu for the first time.

Richard Chamberlain as James Blackthorne and Shimada Yoko as Toda Mariko in the 1980 TV miniseries of Shogun.

Richard Chamberlain as James Blackthorne and Shimada Yoko as Toda Mariko in the 1980 TV miniseries of Shogun.

Mifune Toshiro as Lord Toranaga, the character based on Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Mifune Toshiro as Lord Toranaga, the character based on Tokugawa Ieyasu.

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Episode 29 – The Great Saigo, Part 2

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Episode 31 – The First Shogun

1 Comment

  1. John Ludders

    Hey I have been bingeing your podcast and I love it. But I just got to the Review of Shogun episode and you got a lot (a whole lot) wrong about the book. I am NOT saying the book is accurate, but it did mention that T was treacherous and won the final battle by getting another Dynamo to betary AND Blackthorn, in the book, was said several (at least 25 times) times to have a wife and kids at home, which you said was not included in the book.

    Small things. But just saying, considering how much about the book you got wrong, you may consider taking this down. Obviously your history is more accurate to reality, but you say many things about the book that are simply not the case.

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