Written by James Clavell in 1976.

Tells the story of an English sailor marooned in feudal Japan (circa 1600), separated from his crew, and trained in the ways of Japan by that region's daimyo. Absolutely epic, weighing in at more than 1000 pages. A great introduction into the complicated Japanese culture and politics of that era.

I got more out of reading Shogun than the entire "Introduction to Japanese Culture" class I took as an elective in college.
Military ruler of Japan; a shortening of Sei to shogun, or "Barbarian-quelling general/marshal".

The rank of shogun was originally given on a temporary basis to those leading campaigns against the Ainu, the first such commission being given to Otomo Yakemochi in 784.

Following the Minamoto’s triumph in the Genpei war (1180-1185), Minamoto Yoritomo received the title shogun in 1192 and made it a hereditary position.

The Minamoto were in time followed by the Ashikaga (founded by Ashikaga Takauji in 1338) and the Tokugawa (founded by Ieyasu in 1603). The rank of shogun was finally dispensed with when Tokugawa Yoshinobu resigned from that post in 1867.

"Shogun" is a book published in 1976 by the author James Clavell.

It is an epic about an English navigator who finds himself in 1600 Japan, and trying to adapt to a society alien to him, meanwhile helping the Lord Toranaga win his battle to become the ruler of Japan.

Adapting to a new environment is the least of his problems, as his ship and crew are confiscated, and he finds himself in the middle of a 3-way power struggle between the Lord Ishido, Lord Toranaga, and the Jesuit priests.

"Shogun" is one of my favorite books, as well as one of the most famous epics in the modern world.

Confusingly, there are three seperate computer games called Shogun.

Virgin Mastertronic released a game based on the book ("Shogun") in 1987 for the PC and C64 among others. This was a strangely abstract simulation game where, as one of the characters from the book, you had to attain the rank of Shogun by gaining followers. The CGA graphics rendered feudal Japan as a very strange, blocky place.

Infocom released an interactive fiction game (with some graphics) based on the book in 1988 ("James Clavell's Shogun"). It was written by David Lebling, one of the creators of Zork. This was one of their last games, released shortly before the text adventure became extinct. The artwork (displayed in a window next to the text output) seems to be pretty impressive for the time. The game was aimed at 16-bit machines including the PC, Mac, Atari ST and Amiga (but was also released for the Apple II).

Finally, we have Shogun Total War, released in 2000 by Electronic Arts. This had no connection with the book, but was a highly complex strategy game featuring huge battles with hundreds of units on screen at a time.

The 1987 game is still my favourite of the three.

compiled overview of the 85 ton Shogun 'Mech, from various BattleTech novels and game sourcebooks:

Produced by Mitchell Vehicles on Graham IV shortly before the fall of the Star League, the Shogun was the heaviest 'Mech ever to carry jump jets until the Marauder II was modified to jump. It was intended for fighting in cities and close terrain, where it can traverse buildings, rubble, and other obstacles more quickly than other 'Mechs. The Shogun is also capable of delivering the devastating, if dangerous, Death from Above attack. It has performed well in combat, often landing unexpectedly amid enemy 'Mechs, damaging them and departing.

The Shogun is most always armed with a Coventry Starfire LRM-15 Missle Rack mounted in both arms in a configeration very simular to the LRM launcher of the Zeus. The LRMs are backed by the ever reliable Magna Hellstar PPC. A pair of Thunderstroke SRM-6 Missle Racks stradle the cockpit.

Appearing frequently only in Zeta Battalion of the mercenary unit Wolf's Dragoons, the Shogun is uncommon in the other Dragoon regiments and almost unknown in the armies of the Successor States. Zeta Battalion's fearless fighting style cost them quite a few Shoguns in the decades prior to the Fourth Succession War. The heavy losses suffered by the Dragoons in the shootout on Misery almost made the Shogun an extinct 'Mech. Because security is so tight on Outreach, the home base of Wolf's Dragoons, ComStar has been unable to formulate reliable estimates of the number of surviving Shoguns. Unless the Dragoons have a source of new 'Mechs, however, the number cannot be very high.

Note: Information used here was the domain of FASA before they split the rights between Wizkids LLC and Microsoft (table-top gaming and video games respectively). Copyright of the fluff text is in limbo, but names of persons, places, & things are without any doubt the property of Wizkids LLC. Use of any terms here related to the BattleTech trademark are not meant as a challenge to Wizkids LLC's rights.


Shôgun is Japanese for "general", cf. the book about Douglas MacArthur called Gaijin Shogun. A Japanese could not become a shogun if they were not born into the samurai class: this is what happened to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who was forced to settle with the title of kampaku, or Chief Advisor to the Emperor—shogun in all but name.

Shoguns ruled governments called bakufu. There were three major bakufu in Japanese history, one at Kamakura, one near Kyoto, and one at Edo.

Kamakura shoguns

Minamoto Yoritomo (1192 – 1199)
Minamoto Yoriie (1202 – 1203)
Minamoto Sanetomo (1203 – 1219)
Fujiwara Yoritsune (1226 – 1244)
Fujiwara Yoritsugu (1244 – 1252)

Kyoto shoguns

Ashikaga Takauji (1338 – 1358)
Ashikaga Yoriakira (1358 – 1367)
Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1368 – 1394)
Ashikaga Yoshimochi (1394 – 1423)
Ashikaga Yoshikazu (1423 – 1425)
Ashikaga Yoshinori (1429 – 1441)
Ashikaga Yoshikatsu (1442 – 1443)
Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1443 – 1473)
Ashikaga Yoshihisa (1473 – 1489)
Ashikaga Yoshitane (1490 – 1494)
Ashikaga Yoshizumi (1494 – 1508)
Ashikaga Yoshitane (1508 – 1521)
Ashikaga Yoshiharu (1521 – 1546)
Ashikaga Yoshiteru (1546 – 1565)
Yoshihide Yoshiaki (1568 – 1573)

Edo shoguns

Tokugawa Ieyasu (1603 – 1605)
Tokugawa Hidetada (1605 – 1623)
Tokugawa Iemitsu (1623 – 1651)
Tokugawa Ietsuna (1651 – 1680)
Tokugawa Tsunayoshi (1680 – 1709)
Tokugawa Ienobu (1709 – 1712)
Tokugawa Ietsugu (1712 – 1716)
Tokugawa Yoshimune (1716 – 1745)
Tokugawa Ieshige (1745 – 1760)
Tokugawa Ieharu (1760 – 1786)
Tokugawa Ienari (1786 – 1837)
Tokugawa Ieyoshi (1837 – 1853)
Tokugawa Iesada (1853 – 1858)
Tokugawa Iemochi (1858 – 1866)
Tokugawa Yoshinobu (1866 – 1867)

Sho"gun (?), n. [Chin. tsiang ki�x9a;n commander in chief.]

A title originally conferred by the Mikado on the military governor of the eastern provinces of Japan. By gradual usurpation of power the Shoguns (known to foreigners as Tycoons) became finally the virtual rulers of Japan. The title was abolished in 1867.

[Written variously, Shiogun, Shiogoon, etc.] <-- Jap. Shogun = military general -->


© Webster 1913.

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