Shogun Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Shogun

An English ship pilot, John Blackthorne, exploring Asian seas in the 1600s, is shipwrecked on the coast of Japan. The popular movie "The Last Samurai" borrowed liberally from this theme. Much like Tom Cruise's character, Blackthorne awakens in an alien world, and must endure a crash-course in Japenese culture. These lessons encompass everything from dining etiquitte, social manners, the proper way to clothe yourself, to the rigid expectations of the caste system--each man to his own way of life, appropriate to his rank.
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    Blackthorne attempts to learn as much as he can in an effort to save his ship and crew. Like Tom Cruise's character in "The Last Samurai," Blackthorne is ordered to live in the home of a local villager, and is given tokens of respect, like clothes and baths, because he is a high-ranking foreigner. A translator, Mariko, is ordered to accompany Blackthorne daily, and to help him learn as much as possible of the Japanese, including their language, so that they, in turn, can learn from him. Prejudice against foreigners runs rampant among the Japanese, but luckily for Blackthorne, the feudal lord Toranaga values his knowledge of seamanship, and grants him the honorable rank of samurai. With his new rank, Blackthorne is free to pursue his own ends, including love (Mariko) and revenge (the Spanish Catholics warring against his native England). Lord Toranaga has his own plans for Blackthorne though.

The review of this Book prepared by JoshuaLJenkins

In James Clavell's shogun we see a up close description of Japanese life in the 1600s. Clavell's work is very close to a masterpiece.
John Blackthorne is a captain on a search for the enchanting far off place called Japan. In Shogun we see a variety of themes and plots. From romance to the common everyday literature we all love.

The review of this Book prepared by Jessica

Chapter Analysis of Shogun

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Ethnic/Regional/Religion    -   Christian    -   Japanese Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes Lover is    -   of a different social class

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   navy soldier    -   explorer Age:    -   20's-30's    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Eastern European    -   British


Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   Japan Island?    -   Yes Island:    -   Pacific Islands Misc setting    -   prison

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy    -   impregnation/reproduction Lot of foul language?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   mostly dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Shogun

James Clavell Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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