Roman "Shogun": content and reviews

The novel "Shogun" is a work of the famous American writer J. Clavell, which tells about the life of an English sailor in Japan. This work received rave reviews from critics and enjoyed great popularity among the readership. The reason for this interest in the work lies in the fact that in it exciting adventures unfold against the backdrop of a confrontation between eastern and western cultures.

Swimming to south america

The novel “The Shogun” is based on real events. The prototype of the protagonist was the English navigator William Adams, who is considered the first Briton to visit Japan. In 1598, with the rank of navigator, he went on an eastern expedition, the purpose of which was to reach the shores of South America and sell European goods there (textile products, weapons, gunpowder). The journey took place in very difficult conditions, many sailors died during the voyage. Near the South American coast, several ships were swept away by a storm, others were captured by the Portuguese and Spaniards, so that only one ship, on which Adams was located, went east.

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Life in japan

The novel "The Shogun" in an artistic form reproduces the main events of Adams' stay in this country. In 1600, the ship docked on the island, where he received help. After negotiations, the team was released, but was forbidden to return to their homeland. Adams became a translator and assistant to the Tokugawa Shogun. He taught him the basics of astronomy, geometry, introduced the history and geography of Europe. Subsequently, under his leadership, a European-style ship was built. Adams became the first foreign samurai in the country. He contributed to the establishment of trade relations of Japan with the Netherlands, England and the Philippines. In this country, he married a second time, started his own business. These events formed the basis of the work of the American writer.

Book set

The Shogun novel begins with a Dutch ship wrecked off the Japanese coast. The whole team is captured, as they were mistaken for pirates. The local ruler decides to execute one of the team members. Navigator John Blackthorn is trying to prevent this, but his efforts are in vain. He himself and the rest of the sailors are subjected to numerous humiliations, but after a while their fate changes for the better: he and his comrades go to the influential prince of Toranath, who is interested in Europeans. On the way, the protagonist became friends with the Portuguese skipper, and also learns that the country is in a fierce struggle of political clans for power.

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Plot development

Shogun is a novel that is dedicated to confrontation and juxtaposition of two cultures. This is shown by the example of Blackthorn's life in a foreign country, where he will encounter a different culture, mentality and prejudice. However, the hero’s honesty, openness and kindness ultimately impress both the shogun and his surroundings. Toranata made him his assistant and awarded him the title of samurai. Like his historical prototype, Blackthorne began to train his powerful patron of geography and history. At his request, he drew up a map and taught him some knowledge from European sciences. In addition, the navigator fell in love with a Japanese woman who reciprocated. However, unlike real events, Blackthorn never managed to create his own family in a foreign country.

shogun novel content

Intrigue and the struggle for power

Shogun is a novel whose content is dynamic and has a fascinating plot. Unlike real events, it is saturated with dramatic events and intrigue. A supporter of the Torana, Blackthorn is embroiled in a difficult political struggle for power, with dire consequences. When attacking the castle, his lover dies, but he barely survived and almost lost his sight. In addition, he lost his ship, which was very dear to him and with which he linked his hopes of returning to his homeland. Nevertheless, he continues to enjoy the support and respect of the shogun. The work ends with a battle, during which the latter triumphs over his opponent and thus becomes the de facto ruler of the state. Thus, the book is valid for one year.

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Opinions about the work

Shogun is a novel whose reviews have been generally very positive. Readers praised the writer's skill in portraying the characters of the characters. Many note that the author was able to very accurately and reliably show Japanese mores and customs, making him believe in the authenticity of what is happening. Some users believe that in the novel, even the main thing is not so much the plot as the characters with their desires and feelings. However, everyone recognizes that the story told by Clavell turned out to be very interesting and intriguing. Many liked the fact that the author raised such urgent problems as the clash of representatives of different civilizations, showed the ancient traditions of the country, lifestyle and way of life. Readers love the political and love affair organically woven into the story.

shogun novel reader reviews

About the heroes

One of the most popular historical works was the epic “Shogun”. The novel, reviews of readers about which as a whole turned out to be very positive, is interesting from both a cultural and historical point of view. The image of the main character turned out to be very expressive and reliable. Users indicate that Clavell was able to very truthfully show how this sailor showed considerable courage, finding himself in difficult conditions in a foreign and unfamiliar country, how he achieved recognition and respect with his openness and honesty. Many note that his willingness to engage in dialogue, his interest and tolerance towards this alien world ultimately aroused the sympathy of those around him, primarily the shogun. The image of Toranates is one of the most successful in the novel. This cruel man by European standards turned out to be fair in his own way. Readers liked that the author depicted him as if from two sides: he is a stern ruler, but at the same time he adheres to his own concepts of honor and dignity, wants to study, is interested in European sciences. According to users, the relationship of this hero with Blackthorn is one of the most interesting storylines in the work.

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Film adaptation

Shogun is an epic novel that was so popular that in 1980 a mini-series based on it was released. According to most viewers, the film adaptation was a success, however, according to them, the picture is inferior to the original source in brightness and color. Nevertheless, the leading actors R. Chamberlain and T. Mifune earned positive user reviews for the expressive game. This work is, of course, one of the best novels written in the genre of historical prose. Its only drawback, noticed by a number of readers, is a certain length of action, which, however, does not spoil the impression of reading at all. The very idea of ​​the author needed just such a format of narration. Nevertheless, almost all users acknowledge that the book was read in one breath and that the series based on it is very interesting, as it reproduces the historical realities of 17th-century Japan.


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