Shogun – S01E06 – Ladies of the Willow World | Transcript

Lady Ochiba returns to Osaka in order to accelerate the Regents' campaign against Toranaga. In Ajiro, Toranaga tests Mariko's loyalty to his cause.
Shogun - S01E06 - Ladies of the Willow World

Season 1 – Episode 6
Original air date :
March 26, 2024 (Netflix)

Plot: Lady Ochiba returns to Osaka in order to accelerate the Regents’ campaign against Toranaga. In Ajiro, Toranaga tests Mariko’s loyalty to his cause.

* * *

[Young Ochiba speaks Japanese]


This is Mariko.

She’s the daughter of Akechi Jinsai, my new vassal.

Make her feel welcome.



[Kuroda] You got something to say to me? You insolent lout!

[humming continues]

[young Ochiba] Why are they so angry with each other?

[samurai, monks grunting]

[Toranaga] Akechi wait…

Be patient.

I know how you’re feeling…

Now is not the time.


[breathes shakily]

Go back to bed, Mariko.

You’re only dreaming.

[humming ends]

[shouting, grunting]

[referee] Ippon!

[shouting, grunting]

She’s good.

[referee] Enough!

[Mariko] I don’t understand why he’s doing this…

Your marriage to Buntaro will be an alliance

for both families to smile on.

That’s a joke.

You know the Toda clan is a worthless alliance.

But your father treasures you.

Then why is he casting me away?


All these years and I still don’t understand you.

We have every privilege.

Let us choose to look away from what we cannot control.


[Akechi] Mariko… my most cherished daughter.

It pains me to see you with so many questions.

You have always been an obedient child,

but now I ask that you serve something greater…

Your duty is what endures.

[raindrops pattering]

There is nothing more.

[Toranaga] We have all suffered so much loss…

You may feel unable to bear the weight of it.

But death is the end of having lived.

It is an affirmation of life itself.


Come forward.

During the earthquake,

the Anjin saved my life for a second time.

I will grant him

a fief near Kanagawa, worth 600 koku.

[in English] For your bravery,

he has decided to grant you a fief

that will provide an annual salary of 600 koku.

[in Japanese] He is now chief admiral of the Kantō.

And general in charge of our cannon regiment.

[in English] He has also made you his chief admiral

and general of the cannon regiment.

[in Japanese] For all those who lost their lives…

their deaths will not be wasted.


[all chanting]

[Yabushige] Thousands dead.


Reports are even worse in the north.

We’ll never be able to face Ishido like this.


The Anjin now commands the cannon regiment?

It’s Toranaga’s decision.

The army used to be mine, but now it’s out of my hands.

Even so…

For a barbarian…

What are you on about?

Our forces are in shambles.

Any day now we’ll be dragged into this fruitless war,

and your concern is just one barbarian?



Time to write another will.


[grunting, breathing shakily]

[Mariko praying in Latin]

[praying continues]

[in English] Our Father, who art in heaven…

[stops praying]

[Blackthorne] …hallowed be thy name.

[praying in Latin]

[Blackthorne, in English] Thy kingdom come, thy will be done

on Earth as it is in heaven.

[continues in Latin]

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom…

[Latin stops]

…the power and the glory, for ever and ever.


[Blackthorne] Amen.

[thunder rumbles]

[indistinct chatter]

[Buntaro, in Japanese] Lord, for the way I’ve embarrassed you…

I am truly ashamed.

Not me.

You’ve embarrassed your household,

and the home of my hatamoto.

I am no longer useful to you.

I lose myself when I’m around her.

Then divorce her.

Please forgive me…

Not now, after all these years.

After her father’s treachery,

I thought she’d be grateful I spared her life.

But she has always been ice.

Asking for death, again and again.

For years, the ice has not melted.


With him, it’s different.

[samurai] My Lord, you have another visitor.

Mariko is only doing what I demand of her,

which is more than I can say of you.

I order you…

To isolate yourself from her for seven days.

Yes, sir.


The Anjin asked for my time.

[in English] Please tell him I am sorry about what happened to his army.

[in Japanese] He says he is sorry for your army.

[in English] However, I must ask

why he lavished me with the gift of his cannon regiment last night.

[in Japanese] These many gifts you’ve blessed him with…

he wishes to know why.

He questions my generosity?

[in English] He asks if you refuse them.

[Blackthorne] It’s not a matter of refusing.

I’ve already explained this to him before.

I’m unable to serve him in the way he wishes me to.

So I wish to leave.

[in Japanese] He cannot fulfill the service you ask of him.

And says he still wishes to leave Japan.

Which service does he prefer?

[in English] He asks what service you would rather be given.

If I were to remain in the Japans,

I would formally ask again for the return of my ship…

[in Japanese] He asks for the return of his ship.

[in English] …so that I may sail against his enemies and mine,

the Portuguese.

[Mariko, in Japanese] So he might sail against the Portuguese.

[in English] As his chief admiral,

there are still ways I can disrupt his enemies.

For example, I could attack the Portuguese Black Ship at sea,

harming trade to the port controlled by his Catholic rivals on the Council.

I’m told their names are Kiyama and Ohno.

Thus stifling the flow of Portuguese Catholic wealth and its accompanying power

which will ultimately be brandished against him and his country.

This is not in our Lord’s interest.

I’m sorry, were you going to translate?

[in Japanese] The Anjin wishes to attack the Black Ship

in order to harm trade in ports controlled by the Catholic Regents.

What cause would I have to attack a friendly nation?

[in English] He says that the Portuguese are a friendly nation,

and he would never attack their vessel.

The Portuguese are neither here for the good of Japan nor Toranaga-sama.

They’re here to gain in the name of their God.

Why do you cling to this?

[in Japanese] What is this arguing?

[in English] Excuse me. I am reminded an interpreter should interpret only.

Well, seeing as you’re my interpreter and nothing more,

I would politely ask you to tell him

Portugal is friendly only to their profits.

[in Japanese] He believes the Portuguese are only here to profit.

I will not be discussing this any further.

[in English] That is all for now.

[in Japanese] You stay.

What is between you and the Anjin?


Only words.

I won’t tolerate this disruption in my clan.

We are dangerously close to defeat.

I understand.

One cannot serve themselves above the cause.

The Anjin will not be granted his request.

But to settle his mind,

please arrange for him a night at a brothel.

Hire their finest courtesan.

I will negotiate personally.

And join him.

As a translator.

In case he talks while he pillows.


[samurai 2] Arson! Run away!

[breathing shakily]

Ishido’s taken the Regents hostage.

They’ve been locked in the castle, along with their families.

He’s forcing their vote against Toranaga.

We leave now.

Come, this way.

Please hurry Shizu, get on this.

[grunting, wincing]

She won’t make it.

We’ll only slow you down.

You must warn Toranaga yourself.


Please, I beg you.


I’m sorry.

[samurai] Stop him! Stop!

By Lord Ishido, I order you to stop!

Don’t let him through! Stop!

It’s Toda!

[in English] Refused at the gates. It is even worse than we thought.

What has happened, Eminence?

[priest] Osaka Castle’s been locked down.

Ishido claims there is a plot to kill the Heir.

And he’s order… [grunts]

And he’s ordered that no Regent shall be allowed to leave

until they can elect the fifth member and sentence Toranaga to death.

This is her doing.

Lady Ochiba?

This campaign to eliminate Toranaga, it has accelerated since her return.

That woman has no such power.

I would not underestimate her, Eminence.

Child of a murdered busho.

[priest sighs]

The only consort to give the Taiko an heir.

And she despises the Church.

I think the time has come for us to turn towards Toranaga as an ally.

That man is a Minowara, Martin.

I have never understood this hold he has on you.

Let us pray that we can bring him to our side when this is done.


[humming continues]


[person, in Japanese] There’s no time!

Lady Ruri!


You must leave at once.

Your father was murdered in Kyoto.

[breathing shakily]

[person 2 shouting] Keep that fire in check! Protect the lady!

Never return.

[child] Mother…



It’s time for you to go now.

[actors singing]

[flute playing]

[actors] He slays the false vassal.

He slays the false vassal.

We’re prisoners to that woman.

It serves no one to say such things.

This will be over soon…


When the fifth Regent is confirmed and Toranaga’s threat is eliminated.

Then Ishido will release the hostages.

We’ll always be their hostages now.

We’re just puppets.

It’s the end of the Realm.

[performance continues]

Is this the era of peace our Taikō fought to build?

We cannot be too safe these days.


Ishido is nothing more than the Taikō’s favored koshô.

Good at some things, never great.

You are choosing the wrong ally.

Dear Lady Ochiba…

[singing echoing, fading]

[Daiyoin] I was sorry to hear of your father’s death.

Terrible, how powerless we can be to fate.

We are all just pebbles, pushed and pulled by the currents.

My husband is the ruler of Japan,

and I was unable to give him an heir… did you know that?

This has been in my family for over a hundred years.

It is the only one of its kind.

I am prepared to pass it on to the consort who can bear us a son.

You would be known as “Ochiba no kata” from now on.

[singing echoes]

[Daiyoin] A woman may lose everything she’s ever had…

but she may also take it back.

She must stare without fear into the cruel eyes of fate…

and make herself seen.

[actor] If we have a son,

prestige will spread in every direction…

[singing ends]

[Ishido] Lord Ito…

Your depiction of our late master was quite profound.

Too kind, Lord Ishido.

I am but a weak flicker to his glow of light.

You’re not alone.

As a boy,

I looked up to the Taikō as proof

that even a peasant like me could lift himself to great heights.


Some are born under a banner of greatness,

others must claim it.

Your nōh skills are unparalleled, Lord Ito.

Though you are taller than the Taikō I once served.


If only I could cut myself at the knees…

A minor fault, of course.

[both chuckle]

[Ito] I take it seriously.

Acting is my grand passion.

And how about politics?

Have you heard of the plot against the Heir?

Toranaga’s provocations must come to an end.

Would you join the Council and vote for his death?

I’m grateful for your wisdom in suggesting Lord Ito.

In all my time with the Taikō,

he never spoke of a woman like he spoke of you.

I’m beginning to understand why.

I miss the Taikō’s strength.


It’s as if we live in his shadow.

In most ways.

Though, in the end, he fell short.

He failed to rid us of Toranaga.

Why is it you hate him so much?

Eliminate Toranaga…

and it will be your shadow we speak of.

[Toranaga] All of Osaka belongs to Ishido now.

You are lucky to have escaped alive.

This is lunacy.

My father has only ever been loyal to the Heir.

They are the ones who conspire!

Our allies are pressured into becoming our enemies

with each passing day.

Unless they see through this obscenity and protest.

If we wait for that, it will be too late.

The time has come…

…for Crimson Sky.

What is Crimson Sky?

[Hiromatsu] A plan formulated long ago…

A single, violent rush on Osaka Castle.

We would eliminate the Council and form a new government.

With Toranaga as sole Regent.


[exhales sharply]

An attack on Osaka is like strangling your own neck.

Ishido’s allies control the city.

[Hiromatsu] Lord Toranaga’s half-brother…

Saeki Nobutatsu. We could join forces with him.

It wouldn’t be enough.

What would you do, Omi?

A fifth Council member, obedient to Ishido,

will mean your death sentence.

Then it is Crimson Sky.

[Omi] Perhaps that could work, but…

Why take the risk when there’s still time?

There’s no time for waiting.


reclaim our family’s legacy and become Shōgun.

You have never lost a battle…

Because I’ve never been first to declare one!

There will be no Crimson Sky.

I have never sought to be Shōgun,

and I never will.

Find me a plan that isn’t certain death.

[sliding door opens, closes]

[Mariko] You will forgive the late notice, Gin,

but Toranaga instructed me

to inquire if the Lady Kiku is free tonight.

What an honor.


And such lovely lacquerware too.

Unfortunately, it’s nothing special.

I’m ashamed we must use it,

but so much was destroyed in the earthquake.


Lady Kiku would be honored to attend to this client.


I’d have to reimburse others who booked her.

And, after the earthquake fires,

poor Kiku had four kosodes ruined by water.

Hard times for us all.

500 monme would be acceptable.

So sorry, perhaps I wasn’t clear.

I do not wish to buy all the Tea Houses in Izu,

only the Lady’s services for one evening.

I don’t know if you’ve heard of my Tea House,

but please understand it is no ordinary brothel.

I might even say there is no place like it in all of Japan.

My ladies are artists of the very first class.

They enrich the mind and nurture the spirit.

I assure you

the price is quite merited.

Then 100 monme.

400 monme would be the lowest I could go.

Surely Lord Toranaga would want to enjoy his evening.

Oh, so sorry…

Lady Kiku is not for Lord Toranaga.

She is a gift for the Anjin.

[coughs, swallows]

He is hatamoto now,

and chief admiral of Lord Toranaga’s cannon regiment.

I would think 200 monme are enough.

Then, will you be joining him?

It’s only…

I’ve heard you and the Anjin are never seen apart.

It is my duty to translate, yes.

Then I think you will enjoy your time in my Tea House.

Some call it the Willow World,

because my ladies are like lilies in a lake.

There you will find no prying eyes from the outside world.

All of this I guarantee… for so very little.

300 monme will suffice.

You will be treasured guests.

Lady Gin says with Lord Toranaga’s support

I could become the most cherished courtesan in the Kantō.


I don’t understand why Lord Toranaga

values the barbarian so much.

The barbarian is nothing to me.

[Mariko, in English] This is a great honor you have received.

Lady Kiku is the most coveted courtesan in Izu.

It’s not the honor so much

as being unable to understand why in Christ’s name I’m receiving it.

Usually wives like me are not permitted to go through the gate.

But in this case a special exception has been made.

Does Toranaga-sama know about…

There is nothing to know.


[Mariko] Gin’s Tea House is famed for its many wonders,

but you must be careful.

Our every gesture is being observed.

[courtesan, in Japanese] Welcome.

[Gin] I hope you will enjoy your private evening.

[in English] What do I say?

[Mariko] It is fitting to share your reaction.

Tell her she’s beautiful.

[in Japanese] “Sonata wa utsukushii.”

I am honored to serve the Anjin

on this beautiful evening.

And I’m grateful that Lady Mariko has also come to this place.

[in English] It does feel like we’re being watched.

We must try our best to find this as pleasurable as possible.

And how am I to find this pleasurable?

By not making a scene. For both of our sakes.

Compliment the way she poured your sake.

It is considered a rare art.

Courtesans like Kiku-dono study it for years.

You pour very well.

[Mariko, in Japanese] The Anjin compliments your service.

[sips, swallows]

I imagine everything is quite different from his homeland.

[in English] She assumes it is different from where you’re from.

I’d say so.

Where I come from our prostitutes are neither this well presented

nor as inquisitive.

[in Japanese] He seems to prefer his homeland.

May I?

[sighs, in English] Why not?

Another fine pour.

[in Japanese] Hana, look where the flask just was.

What do you see?

I see nothing, Elder Sister.

[Kiku] You see where the flask is no longer.

Presence is felt most keenly in absence.

[Hana] Yes, Elder Sister.

[in English] Kiku-dono teaches her young apprentice

about empty space and its symbols.


[Kiku] Mariko.

[in Japanese] Where we are is a private place.

Dark… if one wants it dark.

A woman cannot look away when another suffers.

Perhaps the Anjin would allow me to explain

why the Willow World is among

the most treasured planes of existence.

[in English] She wishes to explain to you the meaning of the Willow World.

[in Japanese] People who come to this place have something they wish to forget.

Be it boredom, pain, hardship, disappointment.

[Mariko, in English] Most come here to escape

from boredom or pain, hardship or disappointment.

[in Japanese] They believe this place is about physical pleasure…

[in English] They believe this place is about physical pleasure,

which it is.

But it can be more.

[in Japanese] The people I meet…

[in English] The people she meets wish for a different life or circumstance.

[Kiku speaks Japanese]

[Mariko, in English] They want to be anyplace other than where they are.

[Kiku, in Japanese] I offer you relief from this.

[in English] I offer you relief from this…

[Kiku speaks Japanese]

[in English] …and safety to create one perfect moment

that you wish to inhabit completely.

[Kiku speaks Japanese]

[Mariko, in English] Settle your eyes on what you desire.

My unclothed form.

Just as I am with nothing between us.

I ask you into my openness.

I ask you.

[in Japanese] …to be here with me now.

[breathes shakily]

[Kiku] I would like to invite the Anjin into a private room.

[Mariko, in English] She invites you away with her now.

[in Japanese] Will you join us?

It must only be you.


It’s the barbarian.

That’s Lady Kiku.

She’s so pretty.

[Kiku] Thank you kindly.

[Nagakado] All my father does is lavish him with gifts these days.

Fortune does appear to smile on him.

[in English] Please tell Lady Kiku I don’t have the words to thank her.

[in Japanese] He expresses his gratitude.

Tell him, please visit again.

I will count the moments.

[in English] She is honored.



[in Japanese] How did it go?

The Anjin was pleased with his gift.

Kiku is exceptional.


What do you remember of your childhood?

I recall you being close with Ochiba no kata.

She was Ruri then.

After she became Ochiba no kata,

I have not seen her since.

The way she wars against us…

What could have turned her into the woman she is today?



We all have things we must war against.

Yet most of us do it with honor.


[Mariko] Forgive me…

but most of you are men.

A man may go to war for many reasons.




But a woman

is simply at war.


Your father once told me

he wished you’d been born a man.

Now I see why.

He had great plans for you.

Then he should have married me better.


You didn’t know?

It was all his plan.

Marrying you off.

To put you as far away from his fight as possible.

So that you might survive

and one day return to finish it.

All these years, you must have known…

I’ve failed him.

No, Mariko.

Your war isn’t over.

[Ishido] The time for discussion has now concluded.

Lord Ito is loyal to the Heir, and to this Council.

In one voice, let us vote.


Yes to Ito.

Yes to Ito.

What say you, Sugiyama?

I’m sorry.

But no.

There has been no evidence of any plot against the Heir.

I will conduct no vote

until all hostages are released.


You dishonor the wishes of our great Taikō.

Then you dishonor the most loyal servant of this Realm.

I alone here

serve the Realm.

[Ishido] It will mean a delay,

there’s no doubt about it.

I will propose Sugiyama’s impeachment,

then plans can move ahead.

So sorry, but I’d like to know…

When is “then”?

Please be patient.

You’re playthings.

You have no idea the enemy you face…

You asked before

why I hold these feelings against Toranaga.

It began in my childhood in Azuchi.

All those years I watched him…



Sure, it was Akechi Jinsai who took my father’s life,

but it was Toranaga who planned it.

His secret heart is no secret to me.

Serious accusations.

Tell them in public and his end will be swift.

What would be the point?

None of you can stop him.

Have you heard what I went through

to give the Taikō a son?

No one else could achieve it.

Hundreds of women… consorts…

Not Daiyoin…

Daiyoin… who drugged me with bitter herbs,

forced me to endure unmentionable things in order to conceive.

Only I become mother of the Heir.

And do you know how?

By compelling fate to look at me.

So I could

scratch out its eyes.

[Sugiyama] Wife, wake up! We’re leaving the castle.

Wake up!

[samurai] My Lord, someone’s there.

It was wrong

to side with a simple bureaucrat.

That’s all you will ever be.

[Toranaga] Lord Sugiyama is dead…

Killed by bandits while trying to leave Osaka.

Ishido will soon control the Council.

I expect to be falsely impeached and war will be declared on my clan.

I desire no lands.

I want no honors.

But if traitors place the Taikō’s heir in danger, then I must defend him.

Crimson Sky it will be.


We’ll send a message to my brother asking for his support, then we’ll rush Osaka and obliterate our enemies.

The time has come.

[samurai chanting]

[samurai cheering]

[cheering continues]


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