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Original run: 15 Sep 1980 – 19 Sep 1980

Country of origin: US

Genre: Adventure, Drama, History, Military/War

Network: NBC US

Watched by: 1 073 of 676 417 0.16%

Total running time: 13 hours 12 minutes

Episode duration: 144 minutes

IMDB rating: 8.1 of 10 11 360 rating: 7.934 of 10 7 127

MyShows rating: 4.24 of 5 635


After his Dutch trading ship Erasmus and its surviving crew is blown ashore by a violent storm at Injiro on the east coast of Japan, Pilot-Major John Blackthorne, the ship's English navigator, is taken prisoner by samurai warriors. When he is later temporarily released, he must juggle his self-identity as an Englishman associated with other Europeans in Japan, namely Portuguese traders and Jesuit priests, with the alien Japanese culture into which he has been thrust and now must adapt to in order to survive. Being an Englishman, Blackthorne is at both religious and political odds with his enemy, the Portuguese, and the Catholic Church's Jesuitorder. The Catholic foothold in Japan puts Blackthorne, a Protestant and therefore a heretic, at a political disadvantage. But this same situation also brings him to the attention of the influential Lord Toranaga, who mistrusts this foreign religion now spreading in Japan. He is competing with other samurai warlords of similar high-born rank, among them Catholic converts, for the very powerful position of Shōgun, the military governor of Japan.

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