Shōgun 将軍 | Learn Real English

Shōgun 将軍 | Learn Real English

Learn Real English | Shōgun 将軍

Shōgun 将軍, starring Hiroyuki Sanada, is the new TV sensation sweeping across viewers in the US and bringing interest in Japan to new heights.

In these video lessons we’ll hear Hiroyuki Sanada, Anna Sawai, and the cast and crew disusing why Shōgun 将軍 is so important on a couple American TV programs. We’ll learn some of the key phrases and how to use them. This is a must watch for any samurai fans.

真田広之主演の『Shōgun 将軍』は、アメリカの視聴者にあっという間に広まり、日本への関心を新たな高みへと押し上げたセンセーショナルな新しいTV番組です。

この動画レッスンでは、真田広之と澤井杏奈が、アメリカのニュース番組で『Shōgun 将軍』がなぜ重要なのかを語っています。そこより、重要なフレーズとその使い方を学んでいきましょう。ファンは必見です。

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Transcript | Shōgun 将軍: Part I

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Culture Movies & TV Shōgun 将軍
The Colorful Cast of Shōgun 将軍; Tokuma Nishioka, Hiroyuki Sanada, & Cosmo Jarvis
  • For those that aren’t familiar with the ‘Shogun’ story, in a couple of words tell us about it.

A couple… Um…

  • You get a… You get a few.

It’s, um… yeah, epic human drama, including, um, political strategy, family drama, and love story all in one. It’s a samurai story, but we have a universal theme. So, I hope people can understand and feel our emotion easily.

We try to make this show authentic as much as possible. You know, story from the novel.

Um, but, um, we have model in the real history, but the story itself is a fictional entertainment.

That’s why we need to make authentic, to believe the story and character.

  • Why are these details so important?

Yes, um, the costume and props; everything is very important part of our, our culture.

So I wanted to make, um, sure and then correctly introduce our culture to the world correctly.

That was my dream. And we had a great team from Japan.

Samurai drama making professional for each part; wig, props, costume, master of gestures.

So we had a team. And then we had a great collaboration with, um…

Hollywood crew and Japanese crew and cast working together.

And I hope we made a miracle.

Transcript | Shōgun 将軍: Part II

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Culture Movies & TV Shōgun 将軍
Lord Yoshii Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada) In Front of a Map of Japan
  • And Hiro, you’re a producer on this one, not just an actor. Um, what led you to decide to become a producer?

Yeah, first of all, I just got the offer as an actor to play Toranaga. But after that, um… a few years passed somehow. and then after Justin and Rachel joined to the project, they asked me to do the producing as well. And then I thought, um; oh my gosh, it’s gonna be a great chance to introduce our culture to the world correctly.

Finally. So, um, yeah, I said yes.

  • I remember, Hiro-san, you know, earlier on before the screening, you said in talking about Anna; “only she could do it.” Can you explain what you meant by that? Because she’s not a person who has experience in historical period dramas.

Some actors who has experience to doing the samurai period drama, that’s bothering for this show, because we wanted to change the history of the samurai drama. Not only for the world market, even in Japan too.

Um, some boring pattern acting can make money, but that’s choking Japanese industry itself.

You know, we needed to create the authentic, um, drama. Not only the historical part; acting, passion, emotion, had to be real. Um… Not only authentic. What’s the word? Um… Oh…

I don’t know. Don’t look at me.

Human. I think.

Maybe organic.


Everything had to be organic on set in front of the camera.

And plus, she had a great talent and effort and then learned a lot; movement, Japanese… Japanese traditional movement, and how to wearing kimono, how to walk, how to turn with the long sleeved dress.

But she prepared everything on time, with the perfect English and Japanese.

Oh… That’s why I’m saying, only she could do this role on earth.

Transcript | Shōgun 将軍: Part III

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Culture Movies & TV Shōgun 将軍
Lady Mariko, Anna Sawai, In Front of a World Map

Um, biggest challenge is, you know, Western crew and Japanese crew working together. But, you know, we created the great teamwork day by day. And then we respect each other, learning each other, sharing everything. And then try to go to, you know, same goal.

It was a kind of, you know, dream team; east meets west. So, our teamwork created this show.

  • This process started with English language writers, got handed off to a multitude of different people. There’s a whole process from what we wrote in the writing room to what Hiro and what Anna were saying on screen. But, you know, it was a lot of steps.


  • Can you talk a little bit about all the different stages that went through?

It’s written and then I think it goes through, um, you know, head researcher. Oftentimes it goes to Hiro, maybe myself. And then it goes to a team of translators in Tokyo.

And then after that, it goes to a playwright, Kyoko Moriwaki, who specialized in period, um, style Japanese. And she polishes all the dialogues, so that, you know, it would feel like the right time period.

  • Right.

That comes back to us. And then we do our own polish. And, you know, we kept polishing until we rolled.

Yeah, even same meaning, we have a lot of way to say, so have to be matching for each character, each situation. So we discussed a lot. Which word is correct? Is that too classic, hard to understand? Ok, make easier. Or, you know, mixing. So we took the good… best balance of set every day.

Transcript | Shōgun 将軍: Part IV

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Culture Movies & TV Shōgun 将軍
John Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis)

Most of our actors are on this show because Hiro Sanada is playing this role, for the chance to work with Hiro Sanada, and for the chance to learn from Hiro Sanada.

My first question was; Did women actually fight? And yes, they did.

Samurais of her class, they would get training. Women would have their knees closed at all times, even while fighting. The women had the naginata because they would have more reach.

  • This series is also packed with fighting. You guys had to go through a sort of samurai boot camp training. Right?


  • How challenging was that?

It was challenging for me. Not for him.

  • Did you lead this boot camp?

Kind of. Yeah.

He would just show up and he would start teaching everyone.  And everyone’s just like; ‘Oh my god, like, is this actually happening?’

I really enjoyed the shooting every single day. I didn’t want to leave the set every day.

Yeah, so… for me, just no exhausted. Just some energy coming into my body from somewhere. So…

Transcript | Shōgun 将軍: Part V

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Culture Movies & TV Shōgun 将軍
Lord Yoshii Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada) In Front of Osaka Castle

One of my favorite games every day is the ‘where’s Hiro’ game of where before ‘action’ is yelled, you just see him in the background adjusting a sword, making sure that this is right and talking to someone about this, and then he would just run out of the frame.

  • Justin (Justin Marks) earlier was saying you are the real-life Toranaga. Like you are Toranaga.

Oh, I felt that kind of thing during the shooting. My position in the, um, project, um, as a producer almost, you know, overlapped for Toranaga’s position in the drama.

  • You’re leading the troops in real life and in the and in the show.


Well I hope this one make a bridge; east and west. Um, all the experience in my life, um, helped me to make this show. Maybe this is my life.

Transcript | Shōgun 将軍: Part VI

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Culture Movies & TV Shōgun 将軍
Lady Mariko (Anna Sawai) & John Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis)

She wishes to explain to you the meaning of the Willow World.

Most come here to escape from boredom or pain. Hardship or disappointment. They believe this place is about physical pleasure, which it is, but it can be more. The people she meets wish for a different life or circumstance. They want to be any place other than where they are.

I offer you relief from this and safety to create one perfect moment that you wish to inhabit completely. Settle your eyes on what you desire; my unclothed form. Just as I am with nothing between us. I ask you into my openness. I ask you…

Transcript | Shōgun 将軍: Part VII

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Culture Movies & TV Shōgun 将軍
Hiroyuki Sanada as Samurai Lord Yoshii Toranaga on a Horse with a Katana
  • You’re not speaking in modern Japanese. It’s a feudal Japanese way of speaking.

Yeah. (both)

Even for Japanese actors it’s so hard, like a Shakespeare English for you guys.

I think when it’s not authentic it doesn’t feel right. Um, as an audience it really takes you out of that world.

  • Have you ever seen anything like this; that amount of detail paid attention?

Absolutely not. It’s never happened to me.

Now I’m primarily known for swords and edged weapons, but I… for many of you, you might not know I am also a fan of firearms.

Unfortunately, Blackthorn himself should be armed with pistols that date to the year 1600 and they should be of an English design. What he’s holding do not appear at all to be pistols that you’d find in the year 1600 and in fact, they appear to be pistols we’d find about 1680, at the earliest, probably like 1700, 1720.

For comparison, that’ll be a bit like someone running around in the US Civil War with John McClane’s Beretta.

My master says that you will leave at dusk.


Is that a correct expression?

Yes, but you told me I’d be, um, leaving in a few days.

Yes, but now he has said that you will leave this evening.

Rako-san says your dance was very excellent.

Asa-san asks; In pillowing, how do you compare your women with ours?

Pillowing? I don’t understand.

Pillowing is our way of referring to the physical joining of man and woman.

I have nothing to base the comparison on.

You haven’t pillowed since you have been here?


You must be feeling very constricted. Ne?

One of these ladies would be delighted to pillow with you, Anjin-san.

Or all of them if you wish.


Certainly, but if you don’t want any of them, there is no need to worry.

They would not be offended.

Just tell me the sort of lady you would like and we shall make all the arrangements.

Um, thank you, but um… um… perhaps later.

Are you sure?

Please excuse me, but my master has given specific instructions…

that your health is to be protected and improved.

How can you be healthy without pillowing? It is very important for a man. Yes?

Thank you, um, but I, um…. Um… Not now.

Or maybe you would prefer a boy?

A boy?!

Only if you wish it.

I do not wish it. Do I look like, um, a god-cursed sodomite?

Please forgive me. I’ve made a terrible mistake.

I was only trying to please, but I have never known an Englishman before.

So, I have no way of knowing your… your intimate customs.

Well lady, my intimate customs do not include boys!

Please forgive me for offending you.

It was entirely my fault due to my stupidity and ignorance.

He’s going to bleed me then?

I’m sorry? I do not understand.

This warlock here. He aims to bleed me to release the foulness from my blood.

I’m not familiar with this warlock, but I can assure you this man is a doctor who cares for the sick and injured.

What’s been said about the assassin?

Only that she belonged to a very dangerous sect. She had served as a place maid for years. Some train their whole lives for a single kill. It is very costly.

A price few could afford. You refuse to see it; what those priests are capable of even now. Christ! How much are the Jesuits paying this one to kill me?

‘Onago ja.’ What did he say? What did the warlock say?

Since you are so upset, the doctor suggests we send a woman to pillow with you instead.


Um, it is polite for the physical joining of a man and woman.

If he’s not a warlock, he’s most certainly a pimp.

Would you prefer a male companion?

Dear God, where am I?

Transcript | Shōgun 将軍: Part VIII

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Culture Movies & TV Shōgun 将軍
The 1980 Shogun Cast & The 2024 Shogun Cast (G. McGregor/

Or maybe you would prefer a boy?

A boy?!

Only if you wish it.

I do not wish it. Do I look like, um, a god-cursed sodomite?

Please forgive me. I’ve made a terrible mistake.

Like your doctor friend, whoring women to injured guests. You yourself insinuating that I would have an interest in casual buggery.

We think pillowing is necessary to good health.

Transcript | Shōgun 将軍: Part IX

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Culture Movies & TV Shōgun 将軍
Hiroyuki Sanada as Samurai Lord Yoshii Toranaga In The 2024 Samurai Drama Shōgun 将軍
  • Our next guest is at the center of it all in more ways than one; he’s the star of the show and a producer, and he’s here to tell us about both of those things.
  • Please help us welcome to the studio Hiro… Hiroyuki Sanada. Welcome. We are so happy to have you here. You can tell how excited everyone is.

Oh, thank you.

  • Seventy percent is actually in Japanese.


  • There is an English dub option but I’m watching it in Japanese with the… with the subtitles.

Subtitles. Yeah.

  • Why was it so important to you to really tell the story in Japanese?

Yes, because, you know, the story about Japan. Then we try to make authentic as much as possible. So, Japanese speak Japanese, with subtitles and all other foreign language going to English. Try to make not too much complicated. So we tried to get the best balance.

  • Did you have any idea it was going to be this huge of a success? I mean it’s everywhere. Everyone’s talking about it.

I… I never expected like this much, but I’m so happy and also sad now, because this is a finale day. Um, so, you know, I cannot do anything for this show anymore.

  • Right.

But happy to release to the world, so both sad and happy.

  • The scenery is incredible. The visual locations are stunning and they’re a huge element of the show itself, but interestingly enough you weren’t able to shoot in Japan. You shot elsewhere, slightly closer to home. Tell us about where you shot and why.

We’ve shot in all in Vancouver…

  • Ok.

and never shot any… um, in Japanese… in Japanese country. And… But, um… It was pandemic.

  • Right.

We plan to shoot in Japan a little moment, but we couldn’t. But luckily Van… Vancouver had everything. Good for the samurai drama, especially.

You know, 15 minutes drive from the studio they had a forest, river, harbor, village without any modernized building or wire and pole. So, it was perfect. I think better than Japan to make a samurai movies now.

  • Wow that’s incredible. Better than Japan even.

Transcript | Shōgun 将軍: Part X

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Culture Movies & TV Shōgun 将軍
Samurai Lord Yoshii Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada) & Kashigi Yabushige (Tadanobu Asano) Sitting on a Cliff in the Season One Finale of Shōgun 将軍
  • What are you the most looking forward to about a second season?


  • And what are you the most dreading?

I… Honestly, getting back into a writer’s room. You know, the writers who put this show together, um, were… were such a pleasure and it was so long ago…

  • Right. It really was. Yeah.

…that we were all together. It was before the pandemic.

We miss them.

Yeah and… and to get the band back together, uh, would be such a thrill. And it’s the place where I think as writers we’re… we’re happiest.

What I’m dreading is… is night shoots, with the galoshes in the mud and the snow and the horses and, uh, all that stuff coming back again. I… I still have nightmares.

  • At what point did you start thinking about a possible continuation of the show, especially since you’d completed the book?

There were a lot of questions that we felt were still unanswered, uh, in the story.

  • We haven’t seen him become the Shogun.

Not the least of which is that the title character doesn’t become the title character.

And that’s really, you know, when you have history on your side. What you don’t have on your side is this wonderful book,

  • Yeah.

…um, moving forward. There are no roads where we’re going and I would be lying if I said we have the answers right now.

We know how all of this ends in the final moment and once we saw that moment we said; oh now we have to get to that. Now we have to do that. And that felt much more honest in the way that we’re searching.

  • Is that one season? More than one season?

It’s more than one season. Yeah.

  • Oh, yes!

And it’s… it’s we know how it gets to that place and… and… this is… this is the natural end of this. We think we have something that is exciting, uh, and surprising.

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