Shōgun’s Most Shocking and Significant Deaths! Which one made your jaw drop? (SPOILER WARNING!!!)

It’s full-on war, betrayal, and sacrifice in the latest episode of Shōgun. From cannons butchering mighty samurais, a brutal ambush in the woods, to a lethal stroke of katana to end a violent regime, every life lost in Shōgun pushes the story forward and is never in vain.

And it’s only going to get bloody from here.

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t seen the latest episodes of Shōgun or any episode for that matter (if you plan to binge-watch the series once all episodes are available), we suggest you stop reading here. But if you think a little bit of spoiler never hurt anyone and it won’t diminish your interest or the thrill, then read on!

What have been the most notable and jaw-dropping deaths in the show so far? And how will these sudden turn of events affect the course of the unfolding civil war in the once united Feudal Japan? Here’s a run-down:

Shooting the messenger: Nebara Jozen

Lord Ishido’s messenger, Nebara Jozen, met his demise when he was ambushed while on his way to deliver a message. After getting hit by cannonballs, his arm was blown off and was ultimately killed off by Nagakado with a sword. In the aftermath of Jozen's death, Lord Ishido was left without a crucial messenger, disrupting his plans and leaving him vulnerable. And, most significantly, it signaled the start of the all-out civil conflict. Mariko even called it and declared: “It is war.”

Futile defiance: Lord Sugiyama

Lord Sugiyama’s defiance disrupted the council’s decision-making process, stalling approval for Toranaga's death, much to Ochiba and Ishido’s frustration. Determined to tighten their grip on power, Ochiba told Ishido to solve the Sugiyama issue quickly. Ambushed by Ishido's men while attempting to leave Osaka, Sugiyama’s death was officially attributed to bandits, though the truth was widely known, even by Toranaga. With Sugiyama now out of the picture, Ishido and Ochiba seized control of the Council of Regents, unwilling to tolerate any opposition.

Facing the consequences: Akechi Jinsai

Lady Mariko's father, Akechi Jinsai, did the unforgivable act of betraying and killing Lord Kuroda, the former ruler of Japan. For this, he and his family were hunted. He was forced to kill his wife and children, with only Mariko spared due to her recent marriage, before committing seppuku himself. This altered the destinies of Mariko and Ochiba, once close friends who were inherently innocent but compelled to adapt to survive in their own ways. They are now caught in the currents despite not doing anything wrong. And every year that followed Jinsai’s passing, on the anniversary of her family's death, Mariko would ask to be permitted to take her own life but was denied every time. She considers this a tragedy in itself, as she continuously carries the burden of being the last living member of a disgraced clan that is deemed traitorous.

The beginning of the end: Lord Kuroda

The assassination of Lady Ochiba’s father, Lord Kuroda, marked the beginning of this saga's tumultuous journey. No one truly understands the motivations of Mariko’s father for murdering him — other than the fact that Kuroda was thought to be corrupt and evil. His demise cleared the path for the Taiko's ascent to power, utilizing loyal vassals like Ishido and Toranaga to establish order in the aftermath.

A brutal legacy: Nagakado

Toranaga's son, Nagakado, set out to kill Saeki. Despite eliminating several guards with his band of killers, Nagakado’s own demise came unexpectedly when he slipped and broke his neck while trying to decapitate his uncle. His death not only left Toranaga grieving but also cast a shadow of shame over his bloodline due to the failed assassination attempt, adding fuel to his fire.

A purposeful sacrifice: Hiromatsu

Toranaga's longtime ally, Hiromatsu, boldly stepped forward, urging Toranaga to reconsider surrender or witness his own honorable death by seppuku. Despite the gravity of the moment, Toranaga remained resolute, as did Hiromatsu, who ultimately slit his belly. The episode’s conclusion revealed the profound understanding between Toranaga and Hiromatsu, recognizing the necessity of this sacrifice so no one would question the sincerity of Toranaga’s seeming defeat. As the scene closed, Toranaga vowed to his fallen son and best friend that their deaths would not go to waste.

Witness how these actions, consequences, and entwined destinies ultimately dictate the future of Feudal Japan. Shōgun is now available on Disney+, with its final two episodes on April 16 and April 23.

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