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Authors: James Clavell

Shogun

“Marvelously engrossing.”*

A bold English adventurer. An invincible Japanese warlord. A beautiful woman torn between two ways of life, two ways of love. All brought together in a mighty saga of a time and place aflame with conflict, passion, ambition, lust and the struggle for power…

PRAISE FOR
James Clavell
and his phenomenal best seller
SHŌGUN

“SUPERBLY CRAFTED … grips the reader like a riptide … gets the juices flowing!”

—Washington Star
*


“SHŌGUN
IS IRRESISTIBLE … I can’t remember when a novel has seized my mind like this one. Perhaps it was the author’s Hong Kong novel
Tai-Pan
…. James Clavell breathes narrative. It’s almost impossible not to continue to read
SHŌGUN
once having opened it. Yet it’s not only something that you read—you live it … possessed by the Englishman Blackthorne, the Japanese lord Toranaga and medieval Japan…. People, customs, settings, needs and desires all become so enveloping you forget who and where you are.”

—The New York Times Book Review


“A TALE SURGING WITH ACTION, INTRIGUE AND LOVE … A HUGE CAST … VAST AND DRAMATIC … STUNNING … SAVAGE … BEAUTIFUL … AN EXTRAORDINARY PERFORMANCE!”

—Publishers Weekly


“EXCITING, TOTALLY ABSORBING … be prepared for late nights, meals untasted, business unattended….”

—Philadelphia Inquirer


“Adventure and action, the suspense of danger, shocking, touching human relationships … a climactic human story.”

—Los Angeles Times


“Adventure, intrigue, love … death, bloodshed and sex … reader, you’ll love it!”

—Library Journal


“A COLOSSAL WORK IN EVERY WAY … a huge panorama … but you won’t want it shorter by one sentence.”

—Cosmopolitan

BOOKS BY
JAMES CLAVELL

WHIRLWIND
NOBLE HOUSE
SHŌGUN
KING RAT
TAI-PAN
THE CHILDREN’S STORY
GAI-JIN

Table of Contents

Other Books By This Author

Title Page

Dedication

Author’s Note

Prologue

Book One

  
Chapter 1

  
Chapter 2

  
Chapter 3

  
Chapter 4

  
Chapter 5

  
Chapter 6

  
Chapter 7

  
Chapter 8

  
Chapter 9

Book Two

  
Chapter 10

  
Chapter 11

  
Chapter 12

  
Chapter 13

  
Chapter 14

  
Chapter 15

  
Chapter 16

  
Chapter 17

  
Chapter 18

  
Chapter 19

  
Chapter 20

  
Chapter 21

  
Chapter 22

  
Chapter 23

  
Chapter 24

  
Chapter 25

  
Chapter 26

  
Chapter 27

  
Chapter 28

  
Chapter 29

Book Three

  
Chapter 30

  
Chapter 31

  
Chapter 32

  
Chapter 33

  
Chapter 34

  
Chapter 35

  
Chapter 36

  
Chapter 37

  
Chapter 38

  
Chapter 39

  
Chapter 40

  
Chapter 41

  
Chapter 42

  
Chapter 43

  
Chapter 44

  
Chapter 45

  
Chapter 46

Book Four

  
Chapter 47

  
Chapter 48

  
Chapter 49

  
Chapter 50

  
Chapter 51

Book Five

  
Chapter 52

  
Chapter 53

  
Chapter 54

  
Chapter 55

  
Chapter 56

  
Chapter 57

  
Chapter 58

  
Chapter 59

Book Six

  
Chapter 60

  
Chapter 61

Copyright

For two seafarers, Captains, Royal Navy,
who loved their ships more than their women
—as was expected of them
.

AUTHOR’S NOTE

I would like to thank all those here, in Asia, and in Europe—the living and the dead—who helped to make this novel possible
.

Lookout Mountain, California

PROLOGUE

The gale tore at him and he felt its bite deep within and he knew that if they did not make landfall in three days they would all be dead. Too many deaths on this voyage, he thought, I’m Pilot-Major of a dead fleet. One ship left out of five—eight and twenty men from a crew of one hundred and seven and now only ten can walk and the rest near death and our Captain-General one of them. No food, almost no water and what there is, brackish and foul.

His name was John Blackthorne and he was alone on deck but for the bowsprit lookout—Salamon the mute—who huddled in the lee, searching the sea ahead.

The ship heeled in a sudden squall and Blackthorne held on to the arm of the seachair that was lashed near the wheel on the quarterdeck until she righted, timbers squealing. She was the
Erasmus
, two hundred and sixty tons, a three-masted trader-warship out of Rotterdam, armed with twenty cannon and sole survivor of the first expeditionary force sent from the Netherlands to ravage the enemy in the New World. The first Dutch ships ever to breach the secrets of the Strait of Magellan. Four hundred and ninety-six men, all volunteers. All Dutch except for three Englishmen—two pilots, one officer. Their orders: to plunder Spanish and Portuguese possessions in the New World and put them to the torch; to open up permanent trading concessions; to discover new islands in the Pacific Ocean that could serve as permanent bases and to claim the territory for the Netherlands; and, within three years, to come home again.

Protestant Netherlands had been at war with Catholic Spain for more than four decades, struggling to throw off the yoke of their hated Spanish masters. The Netherlands, sometimes called Holland, Dutchland, or the Low Countries, were still legally part of the Spanish Empire. England, their only allies, the first country in Christendom to break with the Papal Court at Rome and become Protestant some seventy-odd years ago, had also been warring on Spain for the last twenty years, and openly allied with the Dutch for a decade.

The wind freshened even more and the ship lurched. She was riding under bare poles but for storm topsails. Even so the tide and the storm bore her strongly toward the darkening horizon.

There’s more storm there, Blackthorne told himself, and more reefs and more shoals. And unknown sea. Good. I’ve set myself against the sea all my life and I’ve always won. I always will.

First English pilot ever to get through Magellan’s Pass. Yes, the first—and first pilot ever to sail these Asian waters, apart from a few bastard Portuguese or motherless Spaniards who still think they own the world. First Englishman in these seas….

So many firsts. Yes. And so many deaths to win them.

Again he tasted the wind and smelled it, but there was no hint of land. He searched the ocean but it was dull gray and angry. Not a fleck of seaweed or splash of color to give a hint of a sanding shelf. He saw the spire of another reef far on the starboard quarter but that told him nothing. For a month now outcrops had threatened them, but never a sight of land. This ocean’s endless, he thought. Good. That’s what you were trained for—to sail the unknown sea, to chart it and come home again. How many days from home? One year and eleven months and two days. The last landfall Chile, one hundred and thirty-three days aft, across the ocean Magellan had first sailed eighty years ago called Pacific.

Blackthorne was famished and his mouth and body ached from the scurvy. He forced his eyes to check the compass course and his brain to calculate an approximate position. Once the plot was written down in his rutter—his sea manual—he would be safe in this speck of the ocean. And if he was safe, his ship was safe and then together they might find the Japans, or even the Christian King Prester John and his Golden Empire that legend said lay to the north of Cathay, wherever Cathay was.

And with my share of the riches I’ll sail on again, westward for home, first English pilot ever to circumnavigate the globe, and I’ll never leave home again. Never. By the head of my son!

The cut of the wind stopped his mind from wandering and kept him awake. To sleep now would be foolish. You’ll never wake from that sleep, he thought, and stretched his arms to ease the cramped muscles in his back and pulled his cloak tighter around him. He saw that the sails were trimmed and the wheel lashed secure. The bow lookout was awake. So patiently he settled back and prayed for land.

“Go below, Pilot. I take this watch if it pleases you.” The third
mate, Hendrik Specz, was pulling himself up the gangway, his face gray with fatigue, eyes sunken, skin blotched and sallow. He leaned heavily against the binnacle to steady himself, retching a little. “Blessed Lord Jesus, piss on the day I left Holland.”

“Where’s the mate, Hendrik?”

“In his bunk. He can’t get out of his
scheit voll
bunk. And he won’t—not this side of Judgment Day.”

“And the Captain-General?”

“Moaning for food and water.” Hendrik spat. “I tell him I roast him a capon and bring it on a silver platter with a bottle of brandy to wash it down.
Scheit-huis! Coot!”

“Hold your tongue!”

“I will, Pilot. But he’s a maggot-eaten fool and we’ll be dead because of him.” The young man retched and brought up mottled phlegm. “Blessed Lord Jesus help me!”

“Go below. Come back at dawn.”

Hendrik lowered himself painfully into the other seachair. “There’s the reek of death below. I take the watch if it pleases you. What’s the course?”

“Wherever the wind takes us.”

“Where’s the landfall you promised us? Where’s the Japans—where is it, I ask?”

“Ahead.”

“Always ahead!
Gottimhimmel
, it wasn’t in our orders to sail into the unknown. We should be back home by now, safe, with our bellies full, not chasing St. Elmo’s fire.”

“Go below or hold your tongue.”

Sullenly Hendrik looked away from the tall bearded man. Where are we now? he wanted to ask. Why can’t I see the secret rutter? But he knew you don’t ask those questions of a pilot, particularly this one. Even so, he thought, I wish I was as strong and healthy as when I left Holland. Then I wouldn’t wait. I’d smash your gray-blue eyes now and stamp that maddening half-smile off your face and send you to the hell you deserve. Then I’d be Captain-Pilot and we’d have a Netherlander running the ship—not a foreigner—and the secrets would be safe for us. Because soon we’ll be at war with you English. We want the same thing: to command the sea, to control all trade routes, to dominate the New World, and to strangle Spain.

“Perhaps there is no Japans,” Hendrik muttered suddenly. “It’s
Gottbewonden
legend.”

“It exists. Between latitudes thirty and forty north. Now hold your tongue or go below.”

“There’s death below, Pilot,” Hendrik muttered and put his eyes ahead, letting himself drift.

Blackthorn shifted in his seachair, his body hurting worse today. You’re luckier than most, he thought, luckier than Hendrik. No, not luckier. More careful. You conserved your fruit while the others consumed theirs carelessly. Against your warnings. So now your scurvy is still mild whereas the others are constantly hemorrhaging, their bowels diarrhetic, their eyes sore and rheumy, and their teeth lost or loose in their heads. Why is it men never learn?

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