Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Shogun - James Clavell

First of all this is probably the biggest book I have ever read. I found it in my usual place, the second hand bookshop. And fortunately it caught my attention. Although at the beginning I had doubts whether I made a mistake of buying it because it was a little slow paced. But soon the pace picked up and I was total captivated by the story of English naval pilot Blackthorne who get stranded in medieval Japan with some of his shipmates.

Clavell depicts a medieval Japan with great details. The main characters Blackthorne, Toranaga, Omi, Mariko & Yabu are characterized with loving detail. The transformation of barbarian Blackthorne, who is self centered & with filthy habits to a person of intelligence who can appreciate beauty & who will stand up to himself. He becomes a person the samurais respect & he understands Japan’s philosophy of life is totally different from his culture. He falls in love with a Mariko & he liege lord Toranaga covets Blackthorne’s knowledge of warfare & guns.

Toranaga makes friends with Blackthorne. Although the war lord does not hesitate to manipulate people aound him, including Blackthorne & Mariko. The title of the novel Shogun means Supreme Military Dictator. Toranaga aspires to become the Shogun. But many other province rulers lead by Lord Ishido violently oppose him. But Toranaga cunningly make pacts with some of his rivals & scarifies some of associates & people under him to get to his target.

It is a wonderful historical novel with more accuracy in details than usual in that genre although it is not historically accurate.

It is a good book which will delight the reader & educate him about the Japanese culture & way of their thinking.


Reviews on Amazon

Shogun- Movie

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