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Shōgun is the first novel (chronologically speaking) in James Clavell's Asian Saga. It is set in feudal Japan somewhere around the year 1600 and gives a highly fictionalized account of the rise of Tokugawa Ieyasu (here called "Toranaga") to the Shogunate, seen through the eyes of an English sailor whose fictional heroics are loosely based on William Adams' exploits.


  • There are no 'mitigating circumstances' when it comes to rebellion against a sovereign lord.
    • Yoshi Toranaga, in Ch. 11; to this John Blackthorne responds: "Unless you win."
  • What are clouds,
    But an excuse for the sky?
    What is life,
    But an escape from death?
    • (Kasigi) Yabu-san, Ex-Daimyo, in Ch. 61; his death poem after being ordered to commit seppuku, ritual suicide and death sentence de facto. He was ordered to do this after Toranaga found out he had let the ninja in after being betrayed by Omi (his nephew).

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