HomeEntertainmentWhy Toranaga Burned John Blackthorne's Ship in 'Shogun' Episode 10

    Why Toranaga Burned John Blackthorne’s Ship in ‘Shogun’ Episode 10

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    • Toranaga burned Blackthorne’s ship, the Erasmus, to test his loyalty after a loss of trust.
    • Blackthorne’s willingness to sacrifice himself impressed Toranaga, who spared his life.
    • The burning of the ship marked a turning point in Blackthorne’s journey, anchoring him to Japan’s fate.

    John Blackthorne, also known as Anjin-san, started his journey to Japan with his English crew to establish trade links and compete against the Portuguese Catholics.

    However, upon their arrival in the fishing village of Ajiro, they were swiftly captured by samurai, and their ship, the Erasmus, was seized by Lord Omi.

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    Toranaga, the powerful lord, had initially trusted Blackthorne, but after his outburst in episode 8 and a subsequent loss of faith, Toranaga began to see him as unreliable, akin to a betrayer like Yabushige.

    However, Toranaga recognized that Blackthorne was different, yet he still wanted to test his loyalty, particularly after Blackthorne’s defiance and the death of Mariko in episode 9.

    Blackthorne, disillusioned and desiring to return to England after Mariko’s death, found himself vulnerable in Osaka, surrounded by enemies, particularly the Portuguese.

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    Despite this, Lady Mariko arranged with the church to spare Blackthorne’s life. Father Ajiro honored this arrangement, ensuring Blackthorne’s safe passage to the port.

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    Toranaga, aware of the arrangement, decided to test Blackthorne’s loyalty by burning the Erasmus and blaming it on the Catholic Christians.

    This test was a pivotal moment, where Toranaga wanted to gauge if Blackthorne would sacrifice himself for the greater good of Japan.

    Blackthorne, though angry at the loss of his ship, accepted the blame to prevent violence against the villagers of Ajiro.

    Blackthorne’s willingness to sacrifice himself impressed Toranaga, who spared his life and tasked him with rebuilding the ship to form a fleet for his army.

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    Toranaga saw Blackthorne’s loyalty and potential as valuable assets for Japan’s security.

    Blackthorne, on the other hand, believed that the Church spared his life in exchange for his ship, which posed a threat to their trade routes in Japan.

    However, Toranaga decided to prevent Blackthorne from returning to England due to his knowledge and the distraction he posed to Toranaga’s enemies.

    In both the TV series and James Clavell’s book, it was Toranaga who destroyed the Erasmus to protect Blackthorne’s life and prevent potential attacks from the Portuguese.

    Despite various interventions and protections, Blackthorne’s destiny was to remain in Japan for the rest of his life, mirroring his real-life counterpart, William Adams, who never left Japan.

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    In a poignant scene in episode 10, Blackthorne envisions a life in England with his grandkids, a dream that would never come to fruition.

    His journey in Japan, marked by loyalty tests and sacrifices, shaped him into a better person, thanks in part to Mariko’s influence.

    Overall, Toranaga’s decision to burn the Erasmus was a test of loyalty and a strategic move to safeguard Blackthorne and Japan’s interests, ultimately shaping Blackthorne’s destiny in the land of the rising sun.

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    Rohit Belakud
    Rohit Belakud
    Rohit Belakud, a Law Student turned web development virtuoso, serves as the Founder and CEO of Prime Quill. With over 7 years in the field, he excels in web design, WordPress, SEO, and digital marketing. His multifaceted skills extend to authorship, where he covers diverse topics including technology, entertainment, and sports. Rohit's leadership blends legal insight with digital innovation, driving Prime Quill to new heights. A meticulous professional, he crafts compelling narratives that resonate globally, exemplifying the nexus of creativity and technology in the modern era.

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