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Hiroyuki Sanada Leads the Charge in FX’s Epic New Samurai Series ‘Shōgun’

FX’s heart-pounding new teaser for the epic samurai saga ‘Shōgun‘ catapults us into a 16th-century feudal Japan where warring clans vie for power as the currents of East and West collide. Based on James Clavell’s 1975 novel of the same name, this gripping 10-episode limited TV series, created by Rachel Kondo and showrunner Justin Marks, is set at the dawn of a century-defining civil war and dives into the clash of two ambitious men from different worlds and a mysterious female samurai.

“When a mysterious European ship is found marooned in a nearby fishing village, its English pilot, John Blackthorne, 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,” reads ‘Shōgun’s‘ synopsis. “Toranaga’s and Blackthorne’s fates become inextricably tied to their translator, Toda Mariko, 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.”

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Shogun cosmo jarvis
Image: FX

Veteran actor Hiroyuki Sanada takes on the role of Lord Yoshi Toranaga, joined by Cosmo Jarvis as Pilot Major John Blackthorne, Anna Sawai portraying Toda Mariko, Tadanobu Asano as Kashigi Yabushige, Hiroto Kanai as Kashigi Omi, Takehiro Hira in the character of Ishido Kazunari, Moeka Hoshi as Usami Fuji, Tokuma Nishioka playing Toda Hiromatsu, Shinnosuke Abe as Toda Hirokatsu (Buntaro), Yuki Kura as Yoshii Nagakado, and Fumi Nikaido as Ochiba No Kata (Lady Ochiba).

The brief but intense trailer for FX’s ‘Shōgun‘ takes us back to feudal Japan in 1600, a crucial moment as the nation teeters on the brink of a transformative civil war. Sanada’s Lord Yoshii Toranaga musters his troops and allies, including the skilled samurai Lady Mariko, to challenge the dominance of the Council of Regents. Amidst this turmoil, a European shipwreck introduces several men to Japanese shores, among them the English pilot and navigator Cosmo Jarvis’ John Blackthorne.

Shōgun hiroyuki sanada
Image: FX

Forced to acclimate to his new surroundings, Jarvis’ Blackthorne adapts to the foreign culture and dedicates himself to serving Sanada’s Lord Yoshii. The trailer shows Blackthorne mastering the art of war and developing a strong connection and bond with a beautiful samurai, Toda Mariko (Anna Swai), who also interprets for him. Despite learning she’s already married, Blackthorne can’t stop himself from falling in love with her, setting the stage for a complex and forbidden romance.

In an official statement, John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks said, “The story of Shogun has captivated audiences since James Clavell first released his epic novel more than 40 years ago. The themes of an outsider encountering a new culture are as relevant today as then. We are honored to bring the series to today’s viewers.”

He then further added, “There’s a lot of really fun and fascinating work going on to try to balance the story out and tell it from both points of view. We’re also casting … really, really wonderful Japanese actors. I agree with your assessment that if (it is to) just sort of exoticize and fetishize Japanese culture through Western eyes and the male gaze, it would probably not fly. But I think there’s an exciting opportunity to tell the collision of two cultures from both perspectives.”

Shōgun’ debuts on February 27 on Hulu and FX.

Shōgun trailer
Image: FX
Image: FX