For Christmas I got my dad-the-James-Clavell-fan the DVD box set of the 1980’s mini-series adaptation of, “Shogun”. (Who ironically, hasn’t gotten past the first disc, while my brother and mom have watched all 9-hours of it in one sitting on separate occasions.)
Shogun’s one of my favourite books, and I always felt like I was missing out whenever friends (well, not really, “friends”. Mostly my high school Art and English teachers plus Papa.) talk about the mini-series.
Set in feudal Japan, Shogun centres around John Blackthorne, a shipwrecked British pilot, as he learns the intricacies of 17th century Japan culture, politics, religion and language. Blackthorne gains the confidence of Toranaga, a feudal lord vying to be the next Shogun, and is the first foreigner ever to be made a Samurai. What was so great about it is, they intentionally don’t subtitle the Japanese dialogue which adds to the tension and conflict and really puts you in Blackthorne’s shoes.
I was pleasantly surprised by Father Alvito, who I imagined in the book to be an old, balding man but turned out to be a really hot, slightly sinister-looking piece of man-meat.
Hot priests aside,, if you’re a fan of the book, you will not be disappointed. If you haven’t read the book and like Samurai and historical dramas, then you should definitely check the series out. And while you’re at it, read the book!