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Shogun

Shōgun - James Clavell this brilliant 1975 'airport novel' launched a thousand East Asian studies majors, and the career of James Clavell at once. the unification of Japan in 1600 under the general Tokugawa becomes the historical backdrop for a brilliant realized, brilliantly detailed, and emotionally-evocative work, in which real, fleshed-out characters must struggle with loyalties and the clash of "brown" and "gray" samurai captures the ruthless moral ambiguity of feudal relationships.

succeeds merely as a thriller, as pure escapism, as an understanding of J. culture.