Blackthorne: “Is this the Japans?”
Kimono costume wardrobe in the 1980 TV series “Shogun”:
I watched the “Shogun” TV miniseries when it first aired way back in 1980. I watched it again last year. Now that I have a much greater interest in kimonos and Japanese culture, I enjoyed it a lot more.
The show was a ground breaking series. Much as European countries knew little about “The Japans” in the 16th century, most Americans knew little about Japanese culture in 1980. (Yes, count me too.) I can recall back then when the “urination scene” and the “beheading scene” caused a lot of reaction.* The great thing about re-watching it on Netflix DVD was that there are many “making of” special features and interviews included. One of the irritating things is that there are no subtitles or closed captions. Like Richard Chamberlain‘s “Blackthorne” character, the viewer has to keep asking “What did he say”? The sets, the artwork and the costumes were great. It was a treat to watch the great Toshiro Mifune as Shogun Toranaga. At one point in the interviews, the director said that millions of American men fell in love with the “Mariko” character. (Yes, count me too.) The actress Yoko Shimada was cast at the last minute, when the original actress left for a singing career. She was fascinating to watch.
*I encourage you to watch-it-again-for-the-first-time!
Here is a snippet from the gentle musical soundtrack (from there, YouTube links to more).
Starlight: It took 34 years for me to re-view this wonderful TV miniseries!