The ending of Shogun, explained: Does Toranaga win the war?

The ending of Shogun, explained: Does Toranaga win the war?
The ending of Shogun, explained: Does Toranaga win the war?

MADRID, April 23 (CultureLeisure) –

Shogunthe acclaimed FX series for Disney+, has inevitably come to an end. The project set in feudal Japan adapts the novel of the same name by writer James Clavell, who in turn was based on real events and people from the late 16th century and early 17th century. With the broadcast of its tenth episode, the series says goodbye forever.


He shocking ending of the previous chapter It marked the final turn in the feud between Yoshii Toranaga and the Council of Regents led by Ishido Kazunari. This, through some mercenaries, attacked the servants of Hiroyuki Sanada’s character. A brutal attack on peace concluded with the death of Lady Mariko. A misfortune that, in reality, consummated Toranaga’s Crimson Sky plan.

And after Mariko’s death, many of Ishido’s allies realized that in reality He did not protect the rest of the regents and their families in Osaka Castle., but he held them hostage. In turn, the murder of Toranaga and John Blackthorne’s interpreter causes even more instability in the Council, with the regents seeing the villain as their enemy.

But the definitive trigger for the end of Shogun is Ochiba-no-kata, the mother of the heir of Taiko. This woman, until now totally loyal to Ishido, grew up with Mariko throughout her childhood, establishing a practically sisterly relationship. The death of Anna Sawai’s character makes Ochiba completely rethinks his position.

Thus, without the support of the heir of Taiko, Ishido has been left completely alone. No one in Japan supports him, leaving him at the mercy of Toranaga. The war has ended without even having begun. All it took was a series of Toranaga’s strategic moves that ended with the murder of Mariko. The veteran feudal lord has triumphed.


In the tenth episode of Shogun, Toranaga finally confirms what his true plan was. Something that no one else knew about, not even his closest allies. When Yabushige goes to commit seppuku for the betrayal of his lord in the previous episode, Toranaga confesses what happened.

He will be the one who starts, in Edo, a “nation without wars”, an “age of great peace”. That has been the purpose from the beginning. “If you win, anything is possible,” says Toranaga. “Even being shogun,” Yabushige then realizes. “It’s what you’ve always wanted, right? You are no better than us in your secret heart“, he reproaches him, before taking his own life.

Throughout the series, Toranaga had assured that his desire was not to be shogun but to serve the heir of the Taiko and maintain peace in Japan. Now, in the final episode of the series, he has revealed that, in reality, His plan from the beginning was to become shogunthe sole military leader of the entire nation.

To achieve this, he has played at will with all the protagonists of the series, whom He has been directing like puppets until Lady Ochiba and the other regents rejected Ishido. A stratagem as malevolent as it is brilliant that secures him the position without spilling more blood than necessary.


During his conversation with Yabushige, Toranaga admits that he thought several times about killing John Blackthorne, which was far from essential to his plan at first. However, she let him live because made him laugh. In any case, his treatment with the Catholic Portuguese meant that the English sailor could not return to Europe, since he could bring Protestant allies.

The Portuguese wanted his head, but Mariko negotiated for Toranaga and they finally agreed to burn his ship, making him believe that it was some traitor instead of the feudal lord. Even if Blackthorne rebuilds it, the new shogun suggests he’ll probably burn it too.. The destiny of Cosmo Jarvis’s character is to stay in Japan forever.

However, the tenth chapter of Shogun starts with a strange sequence that contradicts what happens next. And it is that sees an elderly Blackthorne on his deathbed in his bed and surrounded by his family. They are all Westerners, which implies that at some point in their lives I would get back to England. But there is one detail that leaves everything up in the air.

In your hand, Blackthorne holds Mariko’s Christian cross. This is not possible, since he himself throws her into the water after the death of her lover. Therefore, that future scene It would not be real but, perhaps, a dream. The novel does not openly confirm what the sailor’s end is, but everything suggests that He stayed in Japan for the rest of his days.. In any case, the question remains unanswered.

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