TOKYO : ' Shogun ' revisited becomes a deeper and wider adventure. The Japanese characters make the new TV version a more kaleidoscope tale.

Gina Balian, a television executive who had worked on the hit series '' Game of Thrones '' for HBO, had just left to help FX start a new limited series division when an agent sent her a nearly 1,200 page novel.

It was ''Shogun,'' James Clavell's 1975 best-selling chronicle of an English sailor who lands in Japan at the dawn of the 17th century looking for riches and ends up adopting the ways of the Samurai.

Balian's first reaction was that she had already seen this book on television back in 1980, when NBC had turned the novel into a mini-series that earned the network what were at the time the highest weekly ratings in its history.

Most of what she remembered about the first adaptation was Richard Chamberlain - its white, ale star. But as she started reading, the novel had much more of kaleidoscopic point of view, devoting considerable pages to getting inside the heads of the Japanese characters.

''I thought that there was a story to be told that was much wider and deeper,'' said Balian, who is co-president of FX Entertainment. It didn't hurt that something about it reminded her of '' Game of Thrones,'' in terms of so many character lives.

It took 11 years, two different teams of showrunners and a major relocation to bring '' Shogun'' back to the screen.

The 10 part series debuts on FX and Hulu on Tuesday with the first two episodes, followed by new ones weekly, and it will premiere on Disney+ outside the United States and Latin America.

Both Hollywood and Western audiences largely have moved beyond viewing the world as a playground where [mostly] white protagonists prove their mettle in exotic lands.

Shows and films like ''Squid Game'' and ''Parasite'' have shown that audiences can handle Asian characters speaking their own languages.

''Shogun'' - which includes a romantic story line between the Englashman and his Japanese interpreter -does not entirely forsake the genre of white characters encountering an alien Japan that was popularized in such films as the '' Last Samurai'' or ''Lost in Translation,'' or going back even further, in star vehicles like ''Sayonara'' [Marlon Brando] or '' The Barbarian and the Geisha'' John Wayne.

So, we see John Blackthorne, the ship's pilot, played by Cosmo Jarvis, perplexed by Japanese bathing rituals and their habit of removing shoes inside the home, and he is horrified by swift acts of seemingly unprovoked violence, Japanese characters explain their cultural psychology in aphorisms like :

'' We live, and we die. We control nothing beyond that.''

This beautiful publishing is dedicated to Samdailytimes.org and its Samurai Founders : Rabo, Dee, Haleema, Lakshmi, Juniper, Zilli, Salar, Bilal, Vishnu [India], Jordan, Ali, Hussain, and Ahsen.

The World Students Society thanks author Motoko Rich.


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