One of the most famous tales ever set in Japan is back. Walt Disney is spending millions on a glossy new adaptation of the James Clavell saga "Shogun," the story of the Englishman who arrives in 1600s Japan and goes on to become a samurai.

First appearing as a beloved novel in 1975, then in a revolutionary 1980 small-screen adaptation that helped it reach a much wider audience, "Shogun" was the "Game of Thrones" of its time. The comparison is fair in more ways than one: In the book’s over-the-top depiction, medieval Japan can come across like the Westeros of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy epic — a confusing land whose brutal customs and palace intrigue are juxtaposed with heroism and codes of honor.

And just as "Game of Thrones" was inspired by real-life events such as the War of the Roses, so too was "Shogun" based on the historical figure of William Adams, a Westerner who arrived in Japan during the Warring States period. Believed to be the first Englishman to reach the country, he happened to land just months before one of the most significant events of Japanese history: the Battle of Sekigahara that ultimately resulted in the victorious Tokugawa Ieyasu being named shogun and led to the foundation of modern Japan. Adams became an adviser to Tokugawa and was later awarded an honorary status as a samurai.

QOSHE - Disney’s ‘Shogun’ has a lot to teach the West - Gearoid Reidy
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Disney’s ‘Shogun’ has a lot to teach the West

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28.02.2024

One of the most famous tales ever set in Japan is back. Walt Disney is spending millions on a glossy new adaptation of the James Clavell saga "Shogun," the story of the Englishman who arrives in 1600s Japan and goes on to become a samurai.

First appearing as a beloved novel in 1975, then in a revolutionary 1980 small-screen........

© The Japan Times


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