• Hiroyuki Sanada Delves into the Movements of Samurai from the Warring States Period with Confidence: "Everything is Calculated" - "SHOGUN" Interview Footage Unveiled
Japan Anime News Edit by Taimu Tsuji

Hiroyuki Sanada Delves into the Movements of Samurai from the Warring States Period with Confidence: "Everything is Calculated" - "SHOGUN" Interview Footage Unveiled

The drama "SHOGUN," streaming on Disney+, is approaching its penultimate episode with episode 9 soon to be released. In line with this, the making-of footage for the action scenes has been released, revealing the dedication of the production team and cast, led by lead actor and producer Hiroyuki Sanada, who strove for utter realism in the action sequences.

Behind-the-scenes photo = "SHOGUN" exclusively streaming on Disney+'s 'Star' (C) Katie Yu/FX

Behind-the-scenes photo = "SHOGUN" exclusively streaming on Disney+'s 'Star' (C) Katie Yu/FX

Sanada, driven by a passionate desire to accurately present Japanese culture to the world, insisted on assembling a team of Japan’s finest actors and experts with extensive experience in historical dramas, undergoing rigorous training camps before filming.

The newly released footage showcases the cast's intense efforts to meet Sanada's high standards. Supervised meticulously by experts, the film features authentically depicted samurai movements from the Warring States period, including swordplay, horseback riding, and archery. Notably, the film also explores the combat methods of female characters, which have rarely been depicted in other works.

From the fifth episode onwards, the dynamic actions of female characters behind the male leads have captured the audience's attention. Anna Sawai, who plays the pivotal character Mariko, commented, "Women actually fought during the Warring States period."

At the Japan premiere, Anna shared anecdotes about how intensely she engaged in the action scenes, including incidents where a naginata broke in half and she chipped a tooth. She explained that even in combat, "female samurai received training. They had to fight while keeping their distance with a naginata, as it was unacceptable to spread their legs."

Sanada expressed confidence in the authenticity of the action scenes, stating, "We adhered faithfully to historical and cultural facts. Everything was calculated."

Synopsis for SHOGUN up to Episode 9 (please note spoilers for previous episodes below):

After the death of the great unifier, the young heir Yaechiyo was meant to rule, but the realm was governed by five elders including Toranaga Yoshii (Sanada) and Kazunari Ishido (Hiroki Hasegawa). Toranaga becomes ensnared in a plot by Ishido, the castle lord of Osaka, resulting in his imprisonment and facing imminent execution.

Deceiving Ishido’s faction and managing a daring escape from Osaka Castle, Toranaga prepared to confront them. However, an earthquake decimates his forces, and betrayal by his half-brother Nobutatsu (Eita), along with the loss of his son Nagato (Yuki Uchida), leaves him with no options. Ultimately, Toranaga declares surrender, but his loyal retainer Hirotsugu (Tokuma Nishioka) commits seppuku in dissent.

Left with no choice but to surrender, Toranaga sends his retainers Yabu (Tadanobu Asano), Pilot (Cosmo Jarvis), and Mariko (Anna Sawai) as envoys to Osaka.

In Episode 9, Yabu presents Pilot as a tribute to Ishido upon reaching Osaka. Mariko, having grown up with Akiba (Fumi Nikaido), Ishido's wife, announces that Toranaga will come to Osaka in a month but will first take his wives back to Edo. However, the treacherous Yabu orchestrates an attack by Ishido's troops.

As the situation intensifies, Mariko's resolve and her mission become clear. The outcome of Toranaga versus Ishido’s confrontation and the grand scheme Toranaga has been secretly planning will unfold.