Shogun – S01E07 – A Stick of Time | Transcript

Outplayed by new alliances in Osaka, Toranaga is forced to carve out a new deal with a long lost family member.
Shogun - S01E07 - A Stick of Time

Season 1 – Episode 7
Original air date :
April 2, 2024 (Netflix)

Plot: In 1554, a young Toranaga achieves his first victory in battle against warlord Mizoguchi, who upon his defeat commits seppuku, seconded by Toranaga. In 1600, Toranga and his army wait in a clearing to meet his estranged brother, Saeki Nobutatsu. After some short-lived feigned hostility, the two warm up to one another and have an informal dinner, to discuss terms of merging their two armies to invade Osaka as part of Crimson Sky. During the dinner, Saeki reveals he has been offered the fifth regency, in place of Sugiyama. Toranaga is told he must decide whether or not to surrender to the council and travel to Osaka, or face imminent war. Toranaga informs Saeki he will have a decision by the next day. Saeki reveals to Yabushige that his general has been killed, giving Yabushige the general’s head, destroying any chance of Yabushige successfully playing both sides. Yabushige, feeling frustrated, finds Blackthorne staring at the Erasmus, where he attempts to train him to properly use his sword. After disarming and flooring him, Buntaro puts his sword to his neck but decides not to kill Blackthorne. Disappointed with his lack of self-discipline, Buntaro approaches Toranaga and formally asks to kill Blackthorne, to which Toranaga refuses. Mariko then asks for Toragana to allow her to die, which he also refuses. The next morning, Toranaga formally informs Saeki his intention to surrender and declares there will be no Crimson Sky, despite protests from Nagakado and Yabushige. Blackthorne eventually stands up and exclaims in Japanese “You’re all dead.” before leaving. While Saeki visits the tea house, he is led into danger by Kiku, who conspired with Nagakado to try and kill him while exposed. Saeki attempts to flee his nephew, but trips in a small body of water in the tea house. Nagakado raises his sword to kill him, but slips and falls backwards, hitting his head on the rocks and bleeding out into the water, in front of Saeki.

* * *

[samurai groaning]

[distant shouting]


[messenger] The war is over!

The war is over!

The war is over!

Lord Toranaga has won!


My compliments, Lord Toranaga.

Not many men win their first battle

before pillowing with their first girl.

I formally surrender.

Tell your scribes that Mizoguchi fought with honor.

It was fate that forced me into declaring an unwinnable war.

I want it recorded that I was seconded by the boy warlord.

Maybe we’ll meet again in the afterlife.

Maybe the one holding the sword

will be me.

[knife piercing]


How long since they last spoke?

Too long.

And if his brother says no?

Then this war is lost before our swords are even wet.

Make sure the barbarian knows to keep his mouth shut.

He understands, Lord.

[horse whinnies]

[horses, footsteps approaching]

In that nearby valley

I spied a decimated army.

Was it just me?

[Toranaga] It’s true.

My garrison endured much loss in the recent earthquake.

So in your desperation,

you had no choice but to summon

the vast legions of your mediocre brother.


You piss-drinking bastard!

I was looking forward to a grand welcome by your forces.

My consorts were all trembling in fear!


You look well, brother.

[Nobutatsu scoffs]

If you had nothing to do but guard the still waters of Yuzenji,

you would also look good.


So the rumors are true.

You’ve tamed a barbarian.


[in English] Anjin-sama, do not forget to bow.

[in Japanese] It is an honor to meet my liege lord’s kin.


The honor is mine.

[Toranaga chuckles]

The Anjin is my hatamoto.

His cannon tactics are crucial to our cause.

You have a proposal for me.

I do. The kind best discussed tomorrow.

Tonight, we’ll get good and drunk.


I like this proposal already!

Samurai of the Kantō!

My men are eager to spill blood by your side!

Thank you for coming, Saeki.

[Nobutatsu laughs]

But first, I’m told there are hot springs in the area.

Follow me.

[samurai chattering, shouting]

[Toranaga] It’s usury…

One night for Kiku’s services cost 300 monme,

one week, twelve thousand?


Just to flirt with my mongrel of a half-brother.

[Mariko] Gin did begin at a much higher price,

but I was able to reduce her fee…

if you agreed to a private meeting for one stick of time.

[Toranaga] Absurd…


[brown samurai speaks Japanese]

[Blackthorne, in English] My lord wanted to see me?

[Toranaga, in Japanese] During tonight’s banquet

the Anjin will be on his best behavior.

And he will wear his swords, not his pistol.

As he is hatamoto.

[in English] Our lord urges you to be at your best, and to please carry your swords

as is befitting a hatamoto.

Lord, may I ask…

Does this order of Crimson Sky mean that

I am to be given maritime command during our attack?

[in Japanese] He asks about his role during Crimson Sky.

As for the Anjin’s ship and his role…

I’ve decided nothing.

And that is the end of it.


[Mariko, in English] Our lord has made no decision regarding you or your service,

and I suggest you take this no further.

Perhaps I misunderstand these honors he has done to me.

Well, here I am bestowed countless gifts. Titles, swords and fiefs.

But when it comes time to actually serve him, I am ignored.

I’m beginning to wonder if these gifts have any bloody meaning at all.

What exactly is…

[in Japanese] Crimson Sky?

I did not bring him here to discuss Crimson Sky.

[in English] I urge you to let this go.


Please tell him I am ready for whatever our fate may bring.

[in Japanese] He says he stands with you…

whatever fate may bring.

Well, if it isn’t Lord Omi.

I came to request Lady Kiku’s company later.

Is she available?

A pity she’s not.

For his brother, Lord Saeki,

Lord Toranaga has bought one week of her time.

Surely I can just speak with her…

For an eager young samurai like you,

perhaps we could find a more suitable courtesan?

[Omi] No, I think not.

Ever since Kiku pillowed here with the barbarian,

your Tea House has been spoiled.

What the Anjin does in my Tea House

is not my business to discuss…

But from what I recall,

his mind was on someone else that night.


[Hiromatsu] Fuji!


I’m so embarrassed, I didn’t know you’d be visiting.

[speaks Japanese]

I wished it to be a surprise.


You keep a clean home.

It’s adequate.

[servant speaks Japanese]

I wanted to deliver these myself.

When we parted in Osaka, I promised I’d keep them safe.

Thanks to you, we are reunited.

When my service is complete,

I will end my life and become ashes too.

Why not live?

And bask in the victory they died to achieve.

Will there be victory?

Forgive me.

With so much strength on our side

of course we’ll have victory.

Your son, Buntaro…

We’re honored to have him.

[Hiromatsu sighs]

I hope Ishido sends all of Osaka to face us.

I hear that your first kill on the battlefield

is better than your first woman.

Where did you hear that?

Many speak of it that way.

Depends on the woman.


[chattering, laughing]


Your boy is finally a man!

The last time I saw Nagakado,

his chin was as hairless as his balls.

Hey nephew,

I bet you have a different girl for every day of the moon.

Just like your father.


Your uncle is far more gifted with women.

[all chuckle]

More lies!

[chattering continues]

[Blackthorne, in English] What’s funny?

Saeki-sama remarks about how long it has been since he has seen Nagakado-sama.

[Toranaga speaks Japanese]

[Nobutatsu speaks Japanese]

[all laugh]

It must bring you great honor…

[Omi] Seeing your wife perform her duty

to the Anjin with such devotion.

You mean her duty to our lord.

Uncle, you honor me with these stories.

What was my father like when he was young?

This is a good story!

Did you know that your father was still a boy

when he won his first battle?

Yoshii Toranaga, the boy warlord.

But that’s not even the good part.


I’m told when the disgraced Mizoguchi bowed to him in surrender,

it was your father, just twelve years old,

who struck his enemy’s head from his shoulders with a single blow

[all laughing]

Lord Saeki, did you receive our lord’s gift?


The courtesan, yes.

Many thanks.

She’s beautiful, but beauty’s a fleeting pleasure.

Like trying to grasp a river, or fuck a sunset.

[Nagakado laughs]

Tomorrow we’ll speak formally on the matter of our alliance.

Why not tonight?




I can’t live in this suspense!

What will the great Yoshii Toranaga offer me for my army?

I quite like it here.

Perhaps my brother

would give me Izu?

[Nobutatsu] Wouldn’t that be something.


I do have one more story about my brother.

Not many know it.

He was once sent away as a hostage,

to ensure our alliance with the Imatani clan.

Our mother told him to be brave.

That a Minowara does not feel fear.

But the moment he left her arms,

I’m told my brother shat his pants

and rode his horse for ten messy ri.



I mean no disrespect, of course.

I just meant to say,

I always felt for that horse…


What do you prefer?

Stories, legends…

or the truth?

This proposal, for example.

What a legend that would make, for me to become Lord of Izu.


I already received another offer.

[samurai chattering, laughing]

Huh? [speaks Japanese]

[distant shouting]

[brown samurai] Lord!

Saeki’s army has blocked off every road leading out of Izu!

[gray samurai 1 shouts]

[gray samurai 2 shouts]

Every checkpoint is now being guarded.

On whose orders?!

[swords unsheathing]

“By order of the Council of Regents:

we invite Lord Toranaga

to submit before us in Osaka, and answer for his treachery.

He is to deliver his response

to Saeki Nobutatsu,

our ambassador and newly appointed Regent.”


So Ishido finally managed to fill my seat.

What lord could refuse this honor?

You’re damning the Realm.

[Nobutatsu] Nagakado…

Your formal sentence for the murder of Nebara Jozen,

and the order to commit seppuku.

Don’t accept it!

I am honored to consider the Council’s request.

I will thoroughly contemplate this,

and submit my answer tomorrow by sunset.

You and your vassals will remain in Ajiro until your decision.

[Blackthorne] What happens if he surrenders?

[Mariko] We will be marched to Osaka and forced to grovel at Ishido-sama’s feet.

Toranaga-sama will be sentenced to death.

And half his men will commit seppuku out of allegiance to him.

[Blackthorne] My Erasmus is still moored in that cove.

If you could get me the clearance I need to go aboard,

then tonight I could go below, test the bilges. Easy dive over the side.

Check the keel, she’ll need cleaning and scraping.

Yabushige’s men could help with stepping the spare bowsprit in the hole.

I fix the sail myself.

And then we could be out of that channel in-We could…

What could we do, Anjin-sama?

Anything is better than standing here pissing around.

[in Japanese] Recently you sent your general, Igarashi,

to negotiate a secret peace with the Council.

Lord Ishido wanted your general returned

with his response.



[in English] Muraji, whose crest is that?

[Muraji] Ishido-sama.

Bloody wonderful.

[Buntaro] Not even a whisper of a plan?

Our lord is in contemplation.

At least let me ride out and get word to our troops in Edo.

Saeki has eyes all over this mountain.

We’d be dead before you got there.



What have you decided?

Do we die with blood on our swords?


Why is it that only those who have never fought in a battle

are so eager to be in one?

[Gin] Well, well. Lord Toranaga…

Forgive me for the trouble,

but Lady Mariko did promise me a stick of your time.

Go back to counting your silver.

Can’t you see we’re busy?

No, Nagakado.

A promise is a promise.

Who can say how many sticks of time we have left?

I humbly thank you for this honor.

Even when your future is out of reach,

you would kindly indulge my ideas for it.

What is it you want?

Do you know what it means to live in the Willow World?

It means pouring out your life in service of great men.

Your youth, energy, wit, and charm…

all of it is given away.

Then your flower wilts with age, and you are discarded.

Why is any of this my concern?

You’re building a new city in Edo.

I think it could set a standard for the future.

There is no future for some of us.

[Gin] Still, in Edo…

Please take the Willow World under your protection.

Even after you’re gone.

[Toranaga scoffs]

Imagine a district contained within its borders.

No longer brothels, but Tea Houses like I’ve made here.

All gathered in the same place.

And the formation of a guild for courtesans.

Grant us this bright future.

Let us age with the grace we devote our youth to cultivating.


Thank you for this novel distraction.


I’m afraid my future is too short for your far reaching plans.

Is it?

Your advisors believe your end is near,

but myself, I wonder…

My fate is written.

Fate is like a sword.

Useful only to those who can wield it.

I was born in a gutter.

Raised as a ukareme.

Most would curse such a loathsome fate.

But my hardships taught me ambition and guile,

and made me the most successful Lady in Izu.

Just as your hardships

made you into the cunning man you are today.

It’s only that it doesn’t make sense…

Lord Toranaga.

Any spy could tell him about the army coming his way–

Why leave your weakened garrison so exposed?

Why make such a careless mistake?

Do you assume any of this to be my will?

After the earthquake that decimated my army?

My apologies, Lord.

I must have misunderstood.

What do I know?

I’m just an old whore.

And my stick of time is finished.

[samurai chattering]

[Yabushige chuckles]

Seems there’s not enough water to share.




So good.


[Omi] What makes you so certain our lord has a plan?

What else is there?


My father wouldn’t know how.

Sometimes I wish we could go back to our old lives…

before that barbarian ship arrived.

When this was just a sad and poor fishing village.


That’s true.

But life here was peaceful.

So much has been taken from us since then.

Every good thing we’ve ever had

is now gone because we reached for more.

We just need a plan.

We’ll bring down as many of these spineless pigs as we can…

[Nobutatsu] “Spineless pigs”?

Your insults are as dull as your blades.

None of this has been easy for me, you know.

Your father and me… we’ve had our troubles.

But we are still family.

Aren’t you ashamed of what you’ve done?

[Nobutatsu] There’s no shame in thinking about one’s legacy.

Think about yours, Nagakado.

To be slaughtered like chickens–

Forgotten before you could even be remembered…

If it’s my fate, then it will be a beautiful death.

[Nobutatsu] That’s not beauty.


…is just a lonely path in the woods.

[villager shouts]


[villager shouts]

Bet by now you’re wishing it had been you in that pot.

Your end would have been swifter.


I’m bound to this fate.

Every death I escape, there’s another waiting.

First on that cliff. Then in Osaka.

Now this.

Why am I speaking to you.

It’s like pissing in the wind.

You don’t even know how to use that.

[Blackthorne chuckles]

Draw it.


[Blackthorne chuckles]

[Yabushige] Draw it.

[Blackthorne, in English] This appears to be occurring. [grunts]

[in Japanese] Hold it properly.

[in English] Two hands.

One more time.

Pick it up!

[in English] Again? Uh…

I see what this is. I’m a fucking sailor. I don’t know this blade from the handle.

[in Japanese] I don’t understand a word you’re saying.

Pick it up now.

[Yabushige grunts]

[in English] Um… Now I am picking up the sword calmly.

[both grunting]




[in Japanese] What’s so funny?

[continues grunting]

What are you doing?

[in English] Well, go on then.

Might as well be now.

You would have died if I wasn’t here.

You idiot.

You’re still too hurt to swing a naginata.

If there will be war, I must fight.

It will be good to finally fight.

We’ll honor the memory of those who’ve gone ahead.

Like your late husband.

What Tadayoshi did for my father that day…

It should have been me standing up to Ishido and his insults.

If I’d been braver,

maybe Tadayoshi and your son would still be with us.

We do what we can, when we can.

We can only hope it’s enough.

[Toranaga] All lands in Okazaki

should be passed to my grandchildren when they come of age.

And also…


Have two chō of land in Edo set aside

for her to use as she wishes.

[brown samurai] Lord, Toda Hirokatsu!

Lord, with due respect…

I have something urgent to discuss with you.

I ask that my wife remain.

Before we die,

I beg permission to take the barbarian’s head.


He’s only aligned with you out of his own interests.


I don’t like the way he looks at my wife.

You accuse this man of soliciting the affections of your wife?


And Mariko is encouraging this.

Is that what you’re saying?

I ask permission to take his head, not hers.

[Toranaga] Answer the question!

If you thought this true,

you would have to take her head the same instant.

What do you say?

My life is for my husband to take.


I don’t accuse my wife.

Then you cannot accuse the Anjin.

How is this to end?

My words were petty.

Please forgive me.

[Toranaga] Where do you stand in this?

I am your servant.

You keep saying that,

yet you constantly confuse your priorities with this barbarian.

There is no confusion.

No more having things two ways.

We are one thing or the other.

Are you with me in our fight against your father’s enemies,

or are you with the barbarian?

I order you to choose!


I have…

…served you loyally and utterly.

But I beg you…

every hour I wait for death

is like drowning in a river of anguish.


let it end.

Free me

of this cursed life.

Last night,

when my brother told that ridiculous story…

why didn’t you speak up?

Forgive me for not defending you from those insults.

No. Not that one.

The one about beheading the general.



It’s absurd.

A single stroke?

You were there.

It was nine times before that head came off.

What a fucking mess you made.

Who picks a child to be his second?



[horse whinnies]

Your formal answer, please.

[Toranaga] Lord Saeki…

I bow before you

and agree to travel to Osaka,

where I will submit to the will of the Council before Lord Ishido.

[in English] He has surrendered.

[in Japanese] Lord, if I may–

You may not.

But father–

I’ve decided.

Even when there’s evil in this land,

no one has the right to tear the Realm apart.

Crimson Sky…

was a mistake.




[in English] Behold, the great warlord.

The brilliant master of trickery…

who tricked his own loyal vassals into a noiseless smothering.

[in Japanese] You’re all dead.

[in English] Crimson fucking horseshit.

[in Japanese] We’ll send word to the Council.

Tomorrow you will leave for Osaka

under my escort until you’ve reached the castle gates.

From this day, you have nowhere to go…

and nothing left to be.


[Nobutatsu] When this is over, I’ll bring you to my castle in Edo.

Build you a palace of your own.

My seventh consort.

Luckiest of them all.



Would you allow me to… elevate our play?

We have other tools to enhance your pleasure.

Show me.

[person grunts]



Trying to finally become a man?

[samurai] Lord!

[shouting, grunting]

[swords clanking]



Where is the beauty in this.



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