Shogun: A Stick of Time   Show Only 
April 2, 2024 6:41 AM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Outplayed by new alliances in Osaka, Toranaga is forced to carve out a new deal with a long lost family member.

"Every death I escape, there's another waiting."

A young warlord hacks his way to his first victory. Lord Ishido sends a rabbit to catch a fox. General Hiromatsu returns the head of the household to Usami Fuji. Lord Saeki makes a shitty after-dinner speaker. Lord Yabushige runs out of options. Madam Gin spends a stick of time to say game recognises game. Buntaro feels conflicted at the beach. Blackthorne shames the vassals of his liege lord. Brash young Nagakado compounds his carelessness with one last slip up.

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posted by Molesome (20 comments total)
 
It's a good production decision to have the sounds of the rain keep playing over the end credits as you sit there and take in what just happened. Music would have spoiled the "oh shit" cliffhanger.
posted by Molesome at 6:45 AM on April 2 [2 favorites]


Damn, I did not expect that. Gotta feel bad for Nagakado, living all his life in the shadow of his famous father, trying to do something heroic to live up to the legend and just failing miserably. As Saeki says, where's the beauty in that death? Madam Gin's convo with Toranaga makes me wonder what he has planned that she sees, and what she is going to do to pay him back -- something badass, I hope. Presumably, Kiku is the one who let Nagakado and his crew in to the Tea House, so something is going on with these women?

Anyway, great slow burn in this episode, really ratcheting up the tension.
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:36 PM on April 2 [2 favorites]


Oh, also I liked that while we saw some of the gruesomeness of the defeated general committing seppuku, they didn't show Lil Toranaga hacking at the dude's neck for 10 minutes. Like, I've seen enough of that brutality on Game of Thrones.
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:14 PM on April 2 [3 favorites]


Does anyone know the conversion rate for sticks of time?

But damn, what an ignoble way to go.
posted by porpoise at 6:45 PM on April 2 [1 favorite]


:(
posted by Cpt. The Mango at 7:42 PM on April 2


I kept thinking, "Geez, it just keeps raining and raining and raining. Did they just shoot in the rain or was this on purpose?" And...I got my answer at the end.

Madam Gin's transformation during her time meeting with Toranaga was sublime. I hope we get to see more of her in that role.

When our Anjin got pissed and stormed out of the meeting, I 100% felt it was all part of a show, part of a plane that Toranaga has brewing. I still think that's also true, too. Saeki's dismissal of Anjin as something of a novelty in their introduction makes me think Toranaga is playing on that.

Presumably, Kiku is the one who let Nagakado and his crew in to the Tea House, so something is going on with these women?

Hard to say if this was Gin trying to curry a favor with Toranaga or if what's his name put Kiku up to it since he also goaded Nagakado into blowing up Ishido's man earlier on. The dude is in charge of a village and trying to game his way into the top tier.
posted by Atreides at 11:25 AM on April 3 [2 favorites]


I have not read the book or seen the 1980 show, but Saeki is totally in league with Toranaga right ? Toranaga "surrenders" and Saeki has to escort him to Osaka with his army to keep Toranaga's army under control. And then they storm Osaka together. Which makes Nagakado's death really akward.
posted by Pendragon at 3:50 PM on April 3 [2 favorites]


I suspect that is a very good possibility, Pendragon, but yeah, Nagakado's death may throw a wrench in that? Or maybe Saeki really is just a jealous jerkface.
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:39 PM on April 3 [1 favorite]


My take is that Toranaga was hedging his bets -- genuinely planning to ally with his brother but also not able to depend on that given their relationship. (Also, doesn't he still have the carrier pigeon spy guy in the village?)

So when he learns now-regent Saeki has turned against him, the plan he arrives at is, "Well, we needed to get to Osaka anyway for Crimson Sky, this way I'll get escorted rather than having to spend martial energy trying to maintain an element of surprise." I think that's what Madame Gin tumbled to after realizing that flank was open.
posted by cocoagirl at 11:03 AM on April 4 [3 favorites]


BTW, did we know until this episode that Buntaro was Hiromatsu's son? And how is Usami related to Buntaro? I feel like this was kind of dropped as a bit of a bombshell for the viewers in this episode.
posted by Atreides at 11:32 AM on April 4


I think it was mentioned earlier that Buntaro was Hiromatsu's son; Usami refers to Hiromatsu as Grandfather and Buntaro as Uncle, so I assume she is the child either of Buntaro's (deceased?) sister or brother?

This Character Map has been on the official site since the beginning; doesn't say who Usami's parents are, but does confirm Hiromatsu as General Grandpappy.

Something I find fascinating is that we have not heard once the word "Emperor." From what little I remember of my college class on Japanese History and from skimming wikipedia, I know that the Emperor was basically an inherited ceremonial figurehead at this time, but it's strange that no one ever even talks about him (especially since he lived in Edo, the center of Toranaga's power). I can imagine an amusing scene of Blackthorne learning that Japan has a monarch and saying, "Well, why don't we get the Emperor's support" and someone saying, "Naw, that dude doesn't do jack, don't worry about him."
posted by Saxon Kane at 2:16 PM on April 4 [1 favorite]


History and from skimming wikipedia, I know that the Emperor was basically an inherited ceremonial figurehead at this time, but it's strange that no one ever even talks about him (especially since he lived in Edo, the center of Toranaga's power).

At the time that the show is set in, the emperor lives in Kyoto. Toronaga(Tokugawa Ieyasu) hasn't solidified his power yet, and so the emperor lives in the centrally-located capital.

Edo (the future To-Kyo, or "eastern capital") is currently the home city of one powerful daimyo and that's all.

And you're right, the emperor is ceremonial, so noone talks about him. To be fair, the shogun at this time was also ceremonial. Tokugawa Ieyasu is the one that makes that title legitimate again.
posted by ishmael at 4:57 PM on April 4 [2 favorites]


When our Anjin got pissed and stormed out of the meeting, I 100% felt it was all part of a show, part of a plane that Toranaga has brewing. I still think that's also true, too. Saeki's dismissal of Anjin as something of a novelty in their introduction makes me think Toranaga is playing on that.

Yeah I got that feeling too. I'm also wondering if Toranaga's army is really as small as it looks, or if parts of it are somewhere else. I know a lot of people died in the earthquake, but it's also a convenient excuse for the number of soldiers you have to be a lot smaller suddenly...
posted by oneirodynia at 10:31 PM on April 4 [1 favorite]


At the time that the show is set in, the emperor lives in Kyoto. Toronaga(Tokugawa Ieyasu) hasn't solidified his power yet, and so the emperor lives in the centrally-located capital.

Oh damn, I didn't do my homework and I've been sitting here waiting for a Tokugawa to eventually pop up anytime now. This makes a lot more sense, geez.

Saxon_Kane, thank you for that map. I really need to do my homework (look at a freakin' show site).

And you're right, the emperor is ceremonial, so noone talks about him. To be fair, the shogun at this time was also ceremonial. Tokugawa Ieyasu is the one that makes that title legitimate again.
posted by Atreides at 12:16 PM on April 5 [1 favorite]


I didn't get the impression that Blackthorne was faking his disgust with Toranaga's "surrender." He has consistently failed to understand the politics and culture of Japan, and I don't think Toranaga would rely on him as his secret accomplice to fool the rest of his men. Now, Toranaga's "surrender" may be part of a bigger play, but whatever it is I think Anjin-sama is as in the dark as the rest of his vassals.
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:45 PM on April 5 [3 favorites]


If we get to mention the books, Toranaga is a master manipulator, and it is two women who figure things out: Mariko and Gin. Gin interprets Toranaga's behaviour with his time with Kiku and Mariko because she is highly observant. The opening introduction of Toranaga with his hunting falcon and how she uses the sun to obscure her sudden move for the kill represents more than Mariko but other uses of birds by Toranaga: the pigeons of his spies, the bird imagery of Kiku's clothes and even the use of feathers on Yabushige's rockstar clothes. Seriously, look at the use of birds and bird imagery in the series.
posted by jadepearl at 11:16 PM on April 11 [2 favorites]


Seriously, look at the use of birds and bird imagery in the series.

Quick bit of trivia. Hiroyuki Sanada has been acting in period pieces his entire life.

As a young man, he played the real-life version of Toronaga (Tokugawa Ieyasu) as a teenager. It was a taiga drama about Oda Nobunaga starring Ken Watanabe.

Anyway, in one scene, the young Tokugawa Ieyasu is handling his lord's hawk. It looks like the hawk starts attacking the actor in real life- and Hiroyuki Sanada, ever the pro, finishes acting the scene. Think I remember there was some superficial damage.

Big contrast to how he expertly handles birds, both metaphorical and real, in the current series.
posted by ishmael at 9:27 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


As a young man, he played the real-life version of Toronaga (Tokugawa Ieyasu) as a teenager. It was a taiga drama about Oda Nobunaga starring Ken Watanabe.

You're going to make us scan IMDB huh?
posted by Atreides at 1:14 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Hehehe, I don't think it's available outside of Japan or special order. Caught it on youtube back in the day before it got taken down.

Think this is it.
posted by ishmael at 2:03 PM on April 12


Did anyone else think they skipped over an entire war at the beginning?

Does anyone know the conversion rate for sticks of time?

About half an hour.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:19 PM on April 20


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