Experience Shogun Culture in Shizuoka

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With the recent premiere of FX’s new series Shogun on Disney+, Japan’s captivating history, especially the era of the Shogun, has been thrust back into the global spotlight. This limited series has not only entertained audiences worldwide but also sparked renewed interest in exploring the rich tapestry of Japan’s shogunate history. In response, Explore Shizuoka has unveiled an educational series of videos shedding light on the Prefecture’s pivotal role in the seven-century-long saga of Japan’s Shogun culture.

Shizuoka, nestled along Japan’s South Coast, is a region steeped in the legacy of the Shogunate era. It was home to three of Japan’s most renowned Shoguns, including Tokugawa Ieyasu, who is at the heart of the Shogun series on FX. This connection to such significant historical figures makes Shizuoka an essential destination for anyone eager to immerse themselves in the world of the Shoguns.

The First Shogun, 12th Century

The educational series begins with the tale of Minamoto Yoritomo, whose youth was spent on the Izu Peninsula at the eastern edge of what is today Shizuoka Prefecture. This area was also where he met his wife, Hojo Masako, and together they established the Kamakura Period, marking the inception of Japan’s Shogunate. Visitors to the Izu Peninsula can explore the Izusan Shrine in Atami City, where the couple were wed, offering a tangible connection to this foundational period in Japanese history. Watch the full story here.

The Most Famous Shogun, 16th Century

The series then highlights the life of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the central figure of the Shogun series and arguably the most influential Shogun in Japanese history. His formative and final years were spent in what is today’s Shizuoka City, serving as a significant cultural and historical hub. The Kunozan Toshogu Shrine, dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu and a testament to the finest craftsmanship of the era, stands as a National Treasure and is a must-visit for those wishing to pay homage to his legacy. Learn more about his story.

The Last Shogun, 19th Century

The concluding video in the series narrates the life of Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the final Shogun, who, much like Ieyasu, chose Shizuoka City as his place of retirement. His abdication was a noteworthy event that led Japan toward establishing its first constitutionally elected government. Today, visitors can explore Fugetsuro, Yoshinobu’s 19th-century residence, to experience a traditional Kaiseki meal and enjoy the serene beauty of its gardens. Discover Yoshinobu’s story here.

For anyone intrigued by Japan’s shogunate history or the stories depicted in FX’s Shogun, Shizuoka offers a unique and immersive experience into the heart of Shogun culture. From ancient shrines to historic residences, the prefecture invites travelers to step back in time and explore the legacy of these powerful leaders. Visit Explore Shizuoka for more information on planning your cultural adventure in Japan.