FX’s Shōgun, based on James Clavell’s bestselling novel, is set in Japan in the year 1600, at the dawn of a century-defining civil war. “Lord Yoshii Toranaga” (Hiroyuki Sanada) is fighting for his life as his enemies on the Council of Regents unite against him, when a mysterious European ship is found marooned in a nearby fishing village.
Its English pilot, “John Blackthorne” (Cosmo Jarvis), comes bearing secrets that could help Toranaga tip the scales of power and devastate the formidable influence of Blackthorne’s own enemies — the Jesuit priests and Portuguese merchants. Toranaga’s and Blackthorne’s fates become inextricably tied to their translator, “Toda Mariko” (Anna Sawai), a mysterious Christian noblewoman and the last of a disgraced line.
While serving her lord amidst this fraught political landscape, Mariko must reconcile her newfound companionship with Blackthorne, her commitment to the faith that saved her and her duty to her late father.
The 10-episode limited series features a highly decorated Japanese cast, unprecedented for an American production, including Tadanobu Asano as “Kashigi Yabushige,” a notorious backstabber and close ally of Toranaga; Hiroto Kanai as “Kashigi Omi,” the young leader of the fishing village where Blackthorne’s ship was found; Takehiro Hira as “Ishido Kazunari,” a powerful bureaucrat who is Toranaga’s chief rival; Moeka Hoshi as “Usami Fuji,” a widow who must find new purpose amidst her lord’s fight; Tokuma Nishioka as “Toda Hiromatsu,” Toranaga’s trusted general and closest friend; Shinnosuke Abe as “Toda Hirokatsu” (“Buntaro”), Mariko’s jealous husband; Yuki Kura as “Yoshii Nagakado,” the brash son of Toranaga with a strong desire to prove himself; and Fumi Nikaido as “Ochiba No Kata” (“Lady Ochiba”), the revered mother of the heir who will stop at nothing to put an end to Toranaga and his threat to her son’s power.
Shōgun is created for television by Rachel Kondo & Justin Marks, with Marks serving as showrunner and executive producer. Also serving as executive producers are Michaela Clavell, Edward L. McDonnell, Michael De Luca and Kondo. The series is produced by FX Productions.