Over the past ten years, historical dramas have once again become an integral part of cinema. Especially those that pay homage to the era and explore it through complex history. This is what happens with adaptation Shogunwhich takes the James Clavell novel on which it is based and elevates it to maximum splendor to detail the context of medieval Japan. But unlike the series that preceded it and the 1980 film, the Disney+ adaptation is more interested in the political side of the story than the tragic romance that runs through it.

On the production side, it devotes more attention and time to creating a credible environment of political and power influence. TOThe script is set in the Edo period, often referred to as both the Tokugawa period and the Tokugawa shogunate, and explores a special moment in Japanese culture.

The period spanning roughly 1603–1868 focuses on their transformation into a model of imperial government. Everything, between the restructuring of clans and groups of warriors who had to decide whether to support evolution or fight it.

Shogun is a new Disney+ series that takes you back to feudal Japan.

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The result is centuries of instability, which in turn is maintained by the intersecting histories of the various powerful territories. Novel Shogun and its first adaptation, released in 1980, analyzes what happened just before the Edo period, which is why they take more interest in the formation of fiefdoms. But in the case of the Disney+ version, the story goes a little further: specifically, what happened after the first Tokugawa shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, came to power.

The world surrounding the story of “Shogun”

The new Disney+ series explores the complex power relationships between shoguns and daimyos.. Both feudal lords are dependent on each other and there is an exploration of how the balance of power is barely maintained. In a majestic tone, the argument also focuses on the concept of politeness, education, and the hereditary powers of office. Thus, the reconstruction of medieval Japan shown here has more to do with the perception of the place that each man and woman occupied in the shogunate. The importance of the concepts of honor and loyalty in demonstrating political and cultural evil is also emphasized.

“SHOGUN” – Pictured: Shinnosuke Abe as Buntaro. CR: Kurt Isvarienko/FX

But in essence, Shogun, is more interested in showing how the fact of a delicate battle to occupy an important position in dangerous territory was understood. With beautiful visuals and attention to historical detail, the story explores the geopolitics of 17th century Japan. As in the novel, Taiko – the visible head of all feudal lords at a particularly critical moment – dies, leaving a single heir. The problem is that he is a child, not yet of the age where governance is considered honorable. Therefore, a regency council is created. In other words, a group of powerful people will rule in his name and in accordance with his ideals.

In medieval Japan, this circumstance was repeated more than once. Moreover, as the battles raged between the various armies, the question of political legacy became an issue that was rarely clear. For more than two centuries, in conditions of complete political ferment, the death of various leaders turned the succession of power into a state issue. Thus, the positions varied in importance. The shoguns and daimyos had to deal with this transformation. It is within the power of pressure groups to protect the heir from death or harm.

Political thinking of the shogun

On the other hand, part of the power was attributed to the great’s ability to protect a possible heir. As in the most extreme cases, kill him for the greater good. What Shogun carefully shows by telling a political map that becomes more complex as the script progresses. In ten chapters, the series manages to show the evolution between a violent event and a concrete power grab. All through the eyes of a Westerner played by Cosmo Jarvis, and even the arrival of the Catholic Church in Japan.

CR: Kurt Isvarienko/FX

But besides this, Shogun tells how the great fiefdoms tried to survive a period of change. According to the plot, the regency council is formed by the social representation of the country. On the one hand, the son of a powerful samurai family (Toshi Toda), a warrior with a troubled past (Takeshi Kurokawa) and a recent convert with ambitions (Hiromoto Ida). The picture is completed by the caretaker of the great castles of Osaka, Ishido Kazunari (Takehiro Hira), and the most powerful man in the territory, Yoshi Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada). The latter had considerable influence, since his ancestors were shoguns.

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Everyone has their own interests. Therefore, they will fight among themselves to impose their point of view and especially the weight of the various factions they represent. The element of greatest interest in the series and demonstrating to what extent medieval Japan could be a hotbed of terrible traps and betrayals.

Source: Hiper Textual

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