The New Shogun

Oily Dragon

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I think the book and the mini series presented an exaggerated view of Japanese culture: a minion, seemingly asleep while in a guard of honour (?), doesn’t bow in a line up, so the senior samurai cuts his head off to the horror of Blackthorne. A hung pheasant belonging to Blackthorne is disposed of by a kindly gardening peasant, so he is executed(!). Seppuku is committed here, there and everywhere. A samurai leaps to his death just to attract Blackthorne’s attention in a critical situation (!). It was all a bit ‘on the nose’ and makes me cringe when I rewatch it now.

These thing might’ve happened, but they were unlikely and rare. They were a dramatic trope to highlight the seeming barbarism of the Japanese (juxtaposed with Blackthorne’s eventual appreciation and love of Japan, the Japanese and their culture). Thus I can understand why the Japanese audience found it an uncomfortable watch.
This is the same culture that was using manned torpedos and suicide dive bombers by the 20th century, by willing participants.

For all its beauty, Japan does seem to have had a fascination with martydom unlike most nations, especially with their warrior/soldier castes, that goes back as far as the samurai and can still be seen in their modern art.

I'm not surprised it was uncomfortable. I'm sure a lot of Japanese want nothing to do with war or death nowadays, having had two atomic bombs dropped on them.
 
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Gyakuto

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This is the same culture that was using manned torpedos and suicide dive bombers by the 20th century, by willing participants.
I’m sure other nations would’ve tried similarly if they could find willing participants. I believe the Japanese were encouraged to read ‘Hagakure’ during the war with it’s batsh*t crazy ‘nationalist‘ ideas.
For all its beauty, Japan does seem to have had a fascination with martydom unlike most nations, especially with their warrior/soldier castes, that goes back as far as the samurai and can still be seen in their modern art.
The way of the samurai may found in death. This means that when you are compelled to choose between life and death, you must quickly choose death. The way of the Samurai is in death.’ Hagakure.

I think westerners tend to highlight those things that they/their reader/their viewers find dramatic. Whenever you see a generic TV programme about Japan it’ll highlight vending machines with girls worn knickers for sale, maid cafes, otaku and female idol group, middle-aged men weirdo fans denying there’s anything sexual in it! These things are niche and I’ve never been struck by them when I’ve been to Japan (and I looked for those vending machines 😈).
I'm not surprised it was uncomfortable. I'm sure a lot of Japanese want nothing to do with war or death nowadays, having had two atomic bombs dropped on them.
I asked my lovely Japanese tourist guide to take me and my girlfriend around the controversial Yasukuni Shrine and museum. Whilst in the museum she burst into tears since her uncle had been a successful kamikaze pilot and his picture was part of the exhibition! Awkward, so we took her for a nice lunch!
 
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Gyakuto

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Has anybody else watched the first episodes?
 
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Gyakuto

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I noticed that when there’s a close up of a character speaking some dialogue, the face would be in focus but the chest and shoulders were slightly blurred. Is this a new cinematic technique? Annoying!
 

isshinryuronin

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The way of the samurai may found in death
If I remember correctly, this line also appears in Musashi's Book of Five Rings. This predates Hagakure so is more than just an exaggerated romanticization of the Samurai ethic, unlike some other stuff in Hagakure. I would have made a poor Samurai.
I asked my lovely Japanese tourist guide to take me and my girlfriend around the controversial Yasukuni Shrine and museum. Whilst in the museum she burst into tears since her uncle had been a successful kamikaze pilot and his picture was part of the exhibition!
While people are most all the same everywhere, the same cannot be said of cultures. May be hard to fully understand a culture so different though it can still be appreciated. The kamikaze tactic was nutty, IMO, but I can see the beauty of some of the ideals it was based on. My dad may not have shared this sentiment, having experienced such attacks in the Philipine Sea. Your tourist guide was hopefully proud of her uncle. It wasn't his idea, but he bravely carried out his mission (not all did).
 
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Gyakuto

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If I remember correctly, this line also appears in Musashi's Book of Five Rings.
No it doesn’t.
I would have made a poor Samurai.
Ha ha, but a good unemployed samurai (IsshinryuRONIN)?
While people are most all the same everywhere, the same cannot be said of cultures.
That’s a bit of an odd dualism. Culture is devised by people and they are inextricably linked.
The kamikaze tactic was nutty, IMO, but I can see the beauty of some of the ideals it was based on.
I’ve read a couple of accounts written by surviving Kamikaze pilots and their recollections show they were scared, children crying out for their mothers and often soiling themselves. But the Japanese ‘shame culture’ pushed them into complying with the act.
Your tourist guide was hopefully proud of her uncle. It wasn't his idea, but he bravely carried out his mission (not all did).
I think her feeling was of what a terrible waste of life it was and I concur.
 

O'Malley

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”…in a worrrld… “ <man walking, determinedly, away from explosions in slow motion>

By ‘modern viewer’ you might mean DC/Marvel fans. It’s lowest common denominator screen writing. Do they really think DC/Marvel fans, in any great numbers, will be enticed into watching a period drama set in Japan because of these tweaks?

Good writing doesn’t require gimmicks. Sopranos with a flying Tony didn’t happen. Walter White never once used invisibility to evade detection. Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus was devoid of magnetic powers to conquer Britain in AD 43!


Like Britney Spears, Pussy Cat Dolls, One Direction, popular doesn’t mean good or worthy.


All too true. Let’s hope ‘Shogun-This time he means business’ doesn’t pander to the ‘lowest common denominator’.
"Shogun - This time with actual guns."
 
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"Shogun - This time with actual guns."
Yes, they arrived in Japan in about 1543 courtesy of the Portugues. I suppose strictly speaking they were ‘arquebus’.
 

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Disney does not need any more of my money, I think I'll just read James Clavell's book again.
 

Steve

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First episode was really good, in my opinion. Familiar beats from the book and movie, but the cinematography was really amazing. Beautiful, so far. And the story is clipping right along. They have created a lot of tension and are establishing the layers upon layers of political intrigue that are at the heart of the story. Looking forward to starting episode 2 this evening.
 
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How many times have you watched ‘Snow White’? 😳
I can understand the reticence to pay for another streaming service. I’ve just cancelled one and will subscribe to Disney+ until I’ve watched all of Shōgun. Disney+ doesn’t have much worthy of it’s even modest price!
 
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Has anyone else been watching the new Shōgun? What do you think?

The actor who plays Lord Yabushige (Tadanobu Asano) is truly excellent in his sliminess. He deserves an award for his characterisation.
 

Steve

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Has anyone else been watching the new Shōgun? What do you think?

The actor who plays Lord Yabushige (Tadanobu Asano) is truly excellent in his sliminess. He deserves an award for his characterisation.
It’s excellent. The performances are all terrific and the cinematography is just beautiful.
 

gyoja

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Has anyone else been watching the new Shōgun? What do you think?

The actor who plays Lord Yabushige (Tadanobu Asano) is truly excellent in his sliminess. He deserves an award for his characterisation.
I really enjoyed the novel, and the rest of his work. It is nice to see it kept alive for another generation.
 

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I’m enjoying it a great deal, I just wish the cinematography was brighter.

Just got the old miniseries with Richard Chamberlain and Toshiro Mifune in the mail yesterday. Haven’t seen it in a long time.
I’m looking forward to watching it again and comparing.

I don’t care if any of them are historically accurate, they’re not documentaries, I just want to be entertained. Considering I’m very easily amused, that’s going to be easy. 🤗
 

Steve

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I’m enjoying it a great deal, I just wish the cinematography was brighter.

Just got the old miniseries with Richard Chamberlain and Toshiro Mifune in the mail yesterday. Haven’t seen it in a long time.
I’m looking forward to watching it again and comparing.

I don’t care if any of them are historically accurate, they’re not documentaries, I just want to be entertained. Considering I’m very easily amused, that’s going to be easy. 🤗
Tried to watch the older miniseries a while back and found it very dated.

Regarding historical accuracy, I have no idea. but I do appreciate that the new series seemed to go to great pains to be as accurate as possible. At least, within the context of a fictional story.

I think this miniseries, so far, has been a very pleasant surprise. I was hoping it would be solid, but it’s exceeded my expectations.
 
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Gyakuto

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Yes Shogun ‘24 darker in all aspects. I enjoyed the original very much, tho…
 
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