Japan: Memoirs of a Secret EmpireEnter EdoTravel TokaidoTimelineResourcesThe Program
Tokugawa Iemitsu
Episode One: The Way of the SamuraiEpisode Two: The Will of the ShogunEpisode Three: The Return of the BarbariansThe FilmmakersProgram SupportersStations and Showtimes

With Ieyasu in control, peace settles over Japan, and a new society based on the samurai ethics of obedience and loyalty is established. In 1600, William Adams becomes the first Englishman to set foot in Japan. Impressed by European trading vessels, Ieyasu asks Adams to help him build his own fleet. Aware that the English have no interest in converting the Japanese to Christianity, Ieyasu decides to expel the Portugese and Spanish who often combine missionary work with trade.

As Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu has united the daimyo warlords. When he dies at 72, his vision of a strictly controlled class system based on the rule of the samurai is a reality. But his grandson, Iemitsu, will rule more harshly. With no wars to fight, Iemitsu tightens control over the power of the daimyo and their restless samurai armies.

Foreign missionaries have been expelled from Japan, but still Iemitsu fears the influence of Christianity. Impoverished peasants and persecuted Christians explode in anger. The Shimabara Rebellion in 1637 results in the deaths of thousands. In order to prevent further dissention resulting from foreign influence, Iemitsu closes Japan to the western world. It will be more than 200 years before the nation will open its doors again.

Top: Tokugawa Iemitsu/Hasedera Temple

Episode One: The Way of the Samurai
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Episode Two: The Will of the Shogun
56k | 200k
Episode Three: The Return of the Barbarians
56k | 200k

(Click 56K for modem access or 200K for cable/T1/DSL connections. Requires installation of the Real Player)

Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire premieres May 26, 2004. Check local listings.

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