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Shogun (1975)

by James Clavell

Series: The Asian Saga (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,691104984 (4.3)229
A bold English adventurer. An invincible Japanese warlord. A beautiful woman torn between two ways of life, two ways of love. All brought together in a mighty saga of a time and place aflame with conflict, passion, ambition, lust and the struggle for power.
  1. 50
    The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell (CGlanovsky, PghDragonMan)
    CGlanovsky: A westerner in Japan.
    PghDragonMan: The best, and worst, of feudal Japan through the eyes of a foreigner.
  2. 40
    Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa (Jannes)
    Jannes: Musashi has been described as "the japanese answer to Shogun". Similar in that is a long and epic historical nove rife with intrigue, violence and, above all, Samurai warriors, but Mushashi i better researched, less stereotypical and is not as full of jarring errors and inaccuracies as Clavell's novel.… (more)
  3. 31
    The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père (ShaneTierney)
  4. 20
    A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (saturnine13)
    saturnine13: If you like gritty, faux historical fiction, how about another with an asian flavor? Shogun, like A Game of Thrones, concerns the byzantine political intrigues of a multitude of different characters painted in moral shades of grey, generously heaped with gruesome action and heart-breaking romance. While Shogun lacks dragons, it does have the added interest of being mostly based upon real events and people.… (more)
  5. 20
    Samurai William: The Englishman Who Opened Japan by Giles Milton (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Samurai William is a non-fiction work that relates the true story and facts upon which the novel Shogun is based.
  6. 43
    Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn (leahsimone)
  7. 10
    The Tokaido Road: A Novel of Feudal Japan by Lucia St. Clair Robson (guurtjesboekenkast)
  8. 11
    Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay (ajwseven)
  9. 00
    Silence by Shūsaku Endō (soylentgreen23)
    soylentgreen23: Although not from the same period exactly, Endo's 'Silence' is another great book about the incursion into Japan of foreign culture, this time in the form of the Christian Church, and what happened in Japan when that religion was suddenly rejected by the ruling class.… (more)

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» See also 229 mentions

English (98)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (104)
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
Blackthorne is a ship's pilot in the 15th or 16th century. He finds a way to Japan through Portuguese rutters. He makes a considerable influence on many Japanese and vice versa throughout. An extremely long novel that took me about a year to finish reading. ( )
  niquetteb | May 19, 2020 |
The japanese names were confusing in the beginning and therr was a bit much killing going in for my taste. But engaging and epic story. ( )
  kakadoo202 | May 31, 2019 |
The shōgun was the military dictator of Japan during the period from 1185 to 1868. The shōgunate was their administration or government. In most of this period, the shōguns were the de facto rulers of the country, although nominally they were appointed by the Emperor as a ceremonial formality. Wikipedia
  brendanus | Oct 18, 2018 |
I thought this book was fantastic. I spent a year in Japan and never got the insight into Japanese character and customs the way I did from this book. While I was there I felt like I was surrounded by unquestioning obedience to authority and unthinking following of traditions, but it's really all based on trust--trust in the people above you/that came before you, and trust that obeisance will help maintain your Wa--your balance and harmony. I love that the book is from a foreigner to Japan’s point of view. At first, he is very critical of the Japanese customs, but comes to accept and even appreciate them. This helps the reader--(remember this was first printed in 1975) who might be baffled by the Japanese customs--learn about them with the main character. The descriptions of Japanese society, of the daily life and important rituals is very interesting, and it adds depth to the book. The conflict between the Catholics and Protestants gives the story another dimension and giving the Catholic characters chapters from their point of view makes them sympathetic characters. Everyone has a story to tell. I also like that Clavell has romance in his novel, but it doesn’t detract from or overtake the rest of the storyline. Clavell does a good job of interweaving numerous stories and characters without the reader getting confused, and I love that by the end we realize that the foreigner, with his foreign ideals of independence, is just a pawn in the game that is being played for the shogunate. ( )
  renardkitsune | Feb 16, 2018 |
The Dutch ship, The Eramus, is shipwrecked off the coast of Japan and the Captain, John Blackthorne, and his crew are taken captive. While captive Blackthorne encounters the Jesuits who are anything but Christlike, and various war-lords and samurai on the verge of a great war. Blackthorne saves Lord Toranaga's life more than once and is awarded the title Samurai and also awarded 200 Samurai of his own. Thoughout the story Blackthorne loves and loses and is betrayed many times. Finally, when Blackthorne is "given" his freedom, he finds out that his ship has been burned and he and his crew are "stranded" in Japan. The book is violent, bloody, gory, and beautiful at the same time. This is the story of the rich, famous, and elite. Even at that, women are just a commodity and have no value. Feudal Japanese politics were very difficult to grasp. The writing and the actions were abrupt--perhaps that is the only reason it can be read with some ease? As the story line goes, it was superb in 1980+ and just as good in 2016. 1192 pages, 5 stars ( )
  Tess_W | Jan 10, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
An dieser Stelle
möchte ich all jenen - Toten wie Lebenden - danken,
die mir, in Asien wie in Europa, geholfen haben,
diesen Roman möglich zu machen.

Lookout Mountains, Kalifornien
For two seafarers, Captains, Royal Navy, who loved their ships more than their women - as was expected of them.
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The gale tore at him and he felt its bite deep within and he knew that if they did not make landfall in three days they would all be dead.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the full novel. Please do not combine with individual volumes.
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