We’re just finished setting up for my first game of Samurai Swords and it reminded me I hadn’t discussed this book yet. The game was originally titled “Shogun” itself, until the Clavell estate apparently objected and it was renamed. It is decidedly set at the time and along the theme of the book. We also have another game with a related theme, Ran, as well as a few real classic Japanese games, but we haven’t played the former yet, nor the latter in awhile.
I must say I liked this book. I feel like it’s awhile since I’ve read a historical novel where I knew so little of the ‘real’ history being referenced, so I really can’t comment on its authenticity. I would now like to learn more about 16th century Japan, but don’t really know where to start. Suggestions are welcome!
One thing I liked is that while there is a central Western character, the book really isn’t about him. What it is about is power and politics at a time of technological change and increasing outside influence. At its core, though, is how much will and can the Samurai leadership use and accept non-Samurai ideas, inventions, manners and people, while definitively retaining their own culture and powerbase.