SF or Not: "Shogun" by James Clavell

Shogun: A Novel of Japan - James Clavell

(Original Review, 1980-09-26)

I think all of the argument around SHOGUN and SF is amusing, but I think that the perspective is about as one-sided as that in the movie.

Ask someone in Tokyo (where both a shorter 2.5 hour movie as well as the five-day/twelve hour TV series showed) if s/he thought SHOGUN was Science Fiction or not. You'll probably get laughed in the face. Many Japanese do not even consider SHOGUN good fiction. It overemphasizes the violence in feudal Japan. Westerners should not think that beheadings and seppuku were regular occurrences, much the same as the western frontier was not all shoot-outs and fighting off Indians, although it did go on.
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.