Writing Techniques in Shogun

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Shogun is a work of historical fiction. The strength of historical fiction is not in its accurate rendition of events but in its faithful portrayal of the historical moment. Thus, Shogun's narrative is faithful to the reality of 1600—a rather barbaric Europe meets a highly civilized and war-torn Japan—even if it strays from accurate chronology. Clavell researched his subject exhaustively. For four years, he read accounts of visitors to Japan in the sixteenth and seventeenth century, as well as historical studies. He visited Japan.

He fleshed out his novel by adding descriptions of the art of gardening and the Tea Ceremony. Some of the descriptive phrases used in the novel are actually paraphrases of the accounts he read. For example, much of what Rodrigues says about the Japanese can be found in the writings of the Jesuit Father Joao Rodrigues, who visited Japan in the...

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This section contains 767 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Shogun Study Guide
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Shogun from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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