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SHOGUN: Minaty Bay, BC as Ajiro Village Circa 1600

Game of Thrones in Feudal Japan.

As Lord Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada)’arrives in Ajiro in episode 4 of FX’s epic Shōgun series, the whole village turns out for him.

Filmed in Minaty Bay near Britannia Beach on the Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler.

Adapted from James Clavell’s bestselling 1975 novel, Shōgun charts the collision of two ambitious men from different worlds and a mysterious female samurai.

Hiroyuki Sanada as Lord Toranaga, ,Cosmo Jarvis as English pilot John Blackthorne and Anna Sawai as Toda Mariko.

Why didn’t Shōgun film in Japan? There isn’t enough open, undeveloped land and it turns out coastal British Columbia is “a very good match” for 1600 Japan, according to Shōgun co-creator Justin Marks.

Related: FX’s Shōgun Series: Where Did It Film in British Columbia?

Lord Toranaga inspects Kashigi Yabushige (Tadanobu Asano)’s army in the village of Ajiro. John Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis) and interpreter Lady Mariko (Anna Sawai) are with him.

Filmed in Minaty Bay.

Minaty Bay on the Sea to Sky Highway. A red X marks the spot but there is no public road access.

In the series premiere, John Blackthorne’s shipwrecked Erasmus is towed into the fishing village of Ajiro, played by Minatry Bay,

Related: FX’s Shogun Series: Where did it Film in British Columbia?

Blackthorne’s brutal captivity in Ajiro ends when Lord Toranaga summons the English pilot to Osaka.

Trip to Osaka on Lord Toranaga’s galley.

When there’s an assassination attempt on Blackthorne in Osaka, Lord Toranaga realizes he and his allies must escape or risk certain defeat.

The scene of their escape at Osaka harbour was a set built on a manmade inlet at the closed Flavelle sawmill on the Port Moody waterfront.

Related: Shogun – Port Moody, BC as Osaka Harbour Circa 1600

Blackthorne is almost left behind in the escape but refuses to accept his fate.

After Toranaga visits Ajiro and quickly departs for Edo, Blackthorne finds out that Toranaga has confiscated the Erasmus and its crew.

“I’m a bloody prisoner all over again” — Blackthorne says about his new role as Toranaga’s military adviser Hatamoto, teaching Yabushige (Tadanobu Asano)’s men to use cannons, with devastating results.

In return, Blackthorne is given a house and a consort Fuji which he finds confusing. His house and the whole upper village of Ajiro were built in a RV parking lot at the Swiss Canadian Mountain Range Association Gun Club in Coquitlam not in Minaty Bay.

The Blackthorne house was built [at the Swiss Gun Club] along with all the other houses in the [upper] village. And over the course of the 10 episodes we shot it like crazy. So.that was a practical. house. It wasn’t on the sound stage We were at the mercy of the elements in filming that house so we had snow, we had rain, we had heat, we had cold, we had every possible iteration. I believe when I watch the show now that plays a huge role in creating a real sense of character for that house. — director Fred Toye about Helen Jarvis’s production design on the official Shogun podcast.


BC filming dates:: September 22 2021 – June 30 2022.

Episodes: 10.

Created by: Rachel Kondo, Justin Marks.

Showrunners: Justin Marks.

Cast: Hiroyuki Sanada, Cosmo Jarvis, Anna Sawai,.Tadanobu Asano, Moeka Hoshi, Fumi Nikaido, Tokuma Nishioka, Takehiro Hira, Ako, Yasunari Takeshima, Hiroto Kanai, Toshi Toda, Hiro Kanagawa, Nestor Carbonell, Yuki Kura, Tommy Bastow, Yoriko Doguchi, Yuka Kouri

Hiroyuki Sanada as Lord Yoshi Toranaga, Cosmo Jarvis as Pilot Major John Blackthorne, Anna Sawai as Toda Mariko, Tadanobu Asano as Kashigi Yabushige, Moeka Hoshi as Usami Fuji, Tokuma Nishioka as Toda Hiromatsu, Takehiro Hira as Ishido Kazunari, Fumi Nikaido as Ochiba No Kata (Lady Ochiba), Ako as Daiyoin Lady Iyo, Yasunari Takeshima as Mura, Hiroto Kanai as Kashigi Omi, Toshi Toda as Sugiyama, Hiro Kanagawa as Igurashi, Néstor Carbonell as Vasco Rodrigues, Yuki Kura as Yoshi Nagakado, Tommy Bastow as Father Martin Alvito Yoriko Dōguchi as Kiri No Kata, Yuka Kouri as Kiku, Yuki Kedoin as Takemaru, Mako Fujimoto as Shizu No Kata.

Soundstages: Mammoth Studios in Burnaby.

Producers: Justin Marks, Rachel Kondo, Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich, Michael De Luca, James Clavell’s daughter Michaela Clavell, Tim Van Patten, Hiroyuki Sanada.

Shōgun series airs on FX and streams on Hulu/Disney+.

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