Shogun | Teen Ink

Shogun MAG

By Anonymous

   Shogun, James Clavell's 1975 best-selling novel about medieval Japan, is a story not to be missed. Although the book is over a thousand pages, I can guarantee that once begun, it will be hard to put down.

Set in the Japanese islands during the 1600s, the reader meets an ensemble of characters, each distinguished from the other. The tale centers around three definitive people: the Englishman, John Blackthorne, whose ship crashed on an island; the powerful Japanese warlord Toranaga, who wants to learn more about the white-skinned stranger and where he came from; and the beautiful woman, Mariko, torn between two different men, each with different meanings of love and of life.

In Shogun, the author introduces us to Japanese history and Japanese culture. Each custom we see as weird, the native Japanese see as a part of life, and so we are with Yabu when he decapitates a man. The narrative comes alive throughout the book, as words turn to pictures. The vividness of Japan through Clavell's eyes is also seen through our eyes.

James Clavell's Shogun is a sea adventure and a love story. There is action, romance, and hope. The characters we meet are unforgettable. I recommend this book to anyone wanting a good read. It will be worth your time. n

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