Culture Shock in Shogun (& Why We Now Live in a ‘One World Culture’)

Eddie Ejjbair
3 min readMay 19, 2024

One of the central themes of the new TV series, Shogun, is the culture shock experienced by Brit John Blackthorne in feudal Japan. One scene in particular (embedded below) shows Blackthorne truly confused by the customs after his gardener is sentenced to death over a misunderstanding.

‘I’m troubled by your whole damned country,’ he says. ‘Life has no value to you. Only the meaningless rituals you are trapped in.’ Specifically, he is referring to the act of sepukku, which involves stabbing oneself with a sword to ensure ‘a slow and agonising death’. Blackthorne, who belongs to a society that has tabooed suicide, cannot fully comprehend this ritual, nor the frequency with which individuals request permission to commit it.

This sort of culture shock is not possible today. Globalism (the international economic system) has flattened the planet, reducing difference and enforcing norms. The result is a one-world-culture with the West silently setting the standard:

Why, for instance, do the elite of India justify their role…

--

--

Eddie Ejjbair

‘Gradually it’s become clear to me what every great philosophy has been: a personal confession of its author and a kind of involuntary and unconscious memoir’