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Everything we know about Shōgun, FX’s upcoming historical drama series with a perfect Rotten Tomatoes score

Shōgun is returning to TV with a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes

The official promo art for Shogun.

The best shows on FX are about to get a new addition. Later this month, Shōgun is slated to premiere on FX as a ten-part miniseries that will adapt James Clavell’s 1975 novel of the same name. This historical drama was previously adapted as a nine-hour miniseries by Paramount for NBC in 1980, and it was groundbreaking for the era. The original Shōgun is still widely regarded as one of the best TV miniseries of all time.

So far, the early reviews for FX’s Shōgun indicate that the new incarnation of the story may live up to the reputation of the original miniseries. Shōgun currently has a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a rare feat. But suppose that’s not enough to get excited about. In that case, we’re sharing everything we know about Shōgun so you can decide whether to watch the story that captivated television viewers over four decades ago.

Cosmo Jarvis in Shogun.

What is Shōgun about?

Shōgun is the story of John Blackthrone, an English sailor who is shipwrecked in Japan at the beginning of the 17th century. In order to survive, Blackthrone must adapt to the ways of the Japanese people and their culture. A female samurai named Lady Mariko gives Blackthrone invaluable insight and companionship, while Lord Toranaga offers Blackthrone mercy and a chance to serve by his side. However, Lord Toranaga’s power is not absolute, and Blackthrone will soon find himself thrust into a war for control of a nation that is not his own.

Cosmo Jarvis in Shogun.

Is Shōgun based on a true story?

It would be an exaggeration to say that Shōgun is a completely true story. Instead, it’s a piece of historical fiction that takes its inspiration from real people and actual events. Blackthrone’s exploits are based on the life of William Adams, a British sailor who came to Japan in 1600 and rose to become a samurai despite his foreign heritage. Many of the supporting characters are also inspired by people who lived in that era.

Anna Sawai in Shogun.

How is the new Shōgun different from the original miniseries?

While the original Shōgun miniseries and the novel focused on Blackthrone as the main character, FX’s updated adaptation is taking a different approach. Blackthrone is still a primary character, but he’s also sharing the spotlight with Lord Toranaga and Mariko. Each of their plotlines will be given their due during this series.

Anna Sawai in Shogun.

Who is starring in Shōgun?

Shōgun features a very large cast that is composed primarily of Japanese performers. In addition to Cosmo Jarvis as John Blackthrone, the cast includes the following actors:

  • Hiroyuki Sanada as Lord Yoshii Toranaga
  • Anna Sawai as Toda Mariko 
  • Tadanobu Asano as Kashigi Yabushige 
  • Hiroto Kanai as Kashigi Omi 
  • Takehiro Hira as Ishido Kazunari 
  • Moeka Hoshi as Usami Fuji
  • Shinnosuke Abe as Toda Buntaro 
  • Tokuma Nishioka as Toda “Iron Fist” Hiromatsu 
  • Yasunari Takeshima as Muraji
  • Yuki Kura as Yoshii Nagakado 
  • Fumi Nikaido as Ochiba No Kata 
  • Tommy Bastow as Father Martin Alvito 
  • Yuka Kouri as Kiku
  • Yoriko Dōguchi as Kiri No Kata 
  • Ako as Daiyoin / Lady Iyo 
Hiroyuki Sanada in Shogun.

Is there a trailer for Shōgun?

Yes. The final trailer for Shōgun has been released, and it has surprisingly little footage of Blackthrone in it. Instead, Mariko gets most of the spotlight as she explains to Blackthrone why her family has been disgraced in Japan. The footage also suggests a deep (and possibly romantic) bond between Mariko and Blackthrone.

Shōgun - New Extended Trailer | Hiroyuki Sanada, Cosmo Jarvis, Anna Sawai | FX

The other key piece of information in this trailer is that Japan is about to enter a civil war. Blackthrone’s side has already been chosen for him. He’s either with Lord Toranaga, or he’ll die. There’s no neutrality in this war, and Lord Toranaga’s rivals will show no mercy to Blackthrone if they are victorious.

Hiroyuki Sanada in Shogun.

When will Shōgun premiere?

The first two episodes of Shōgun will be released on February 27 on FX. Both episodes will also be available to stream on Hulu. The remaining eight episodes will be released weekly through April 23.

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Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell is a freelance writer for The Manual, Digital Trends, Fandom, Yahoo Entertainment, and more!
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