Clavell is in top-notch form in this sequel to Tai-pan, the second novel in what will be the Gai-Jin. James Clavell, Author Delacorte Press $ (p) ISBN . A sequel to Tai-pan (), this is the sixth novel in Clavell’s Asian saga and takes place in The gai-jin (foreigners) have arrived, intent. The heir to the magnificent English trading company, the Noble House the direct descendant of the first Toranaga Shogun battling to usher his country.

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Gai-Jin – James Clavell. In the third Shogunate military dictatorship was established in Japan; beginning an era of isolation for the geographically cut-off island nation.

Foreign trade was limited to a small outpost in the south, religious freedom was curtailed and the already sidelined emperor was further sequestered. This period of isolation proved to be a boon in the long run for the ordinary Japanese population. Perry landed on Japanese soil in after the Japanese could no longer hold off the threat of the technologically superior American navy.

The Commodore imposed an unequal treaty on the Japanese in order to protect American interests that came along to open Japan once more to trade and commerce.

Gai-Jin by James Clavell | : Books

As a virtually untapped market, Japan was very attractive to these and other businesses that had set themselves up in the orient; British, French, Dutch and Russian diplomats turned up along with numerous trading outfits to milk the market. Following the Noble House were their arch rivals – Tyler Brock and sons; their rivalry being one of the main plots of the Asian Saga.

Contrasting the eras of these two giants are the failures and tragedies of Struans, and the unlikely saviours that emerge from the ruins. Gai-Jin is a narrative yai the trials of the new tai-pan supreme leader of Struans — Malcolm Struan. He is 1 embroiled in a vicious power struggle with his peers in the Council of Elders on one front, 2 occupied with bringing the inbred and outdated Shogunate up to speed with the rest of the world on another, hames 3 saving his own skin from assassins and other imperial loyalists on the third.

Certain men have six hearts. Yoshi is one of these. He is your goal, the one for ga you must be the foil. Malcolm Struan is still a minor when he is given the title of tai-pan supreme leader after the untimely jqmes of his father.

Linked to Malcolm is the story of Angelique Ricaud — a beautiful French adventuress who has enamoured the entire business community in Japan with her beauty and charm, especially Malcolm. Only then did she look at the photograph — the first of his parents that she had seen. Culum Struan appeared much older than his years, forty-two.


Gai-Jin – Wikipedia

Tess neither old nor young, pale jams glazing directly at Angelique, the thin line of her lips dominant. Tess turned thirty seven this year. Will I have the same hard cast to my features that shout an unloving marriage and crushing family burdens — hating her father and brothers, them hating her, both sides trying to ruin each other — that began in her case so romantically, eloping and married at sea.

The story is filled with intricate sub-plots of assassinations, political upheaval and espionage, all played out by ninjas, courtesans, generals, soldiers, imperial loyalists and power brokers. The setting of the story is not far from the Meiji Restoration, when Emperor Meiji abolished the Shogunate and restored the monarchy. As an agent of the Shogun, Yoshi takes on the shishi — revolutionaries against the shogunate.

Wikipedia says that the fictional trading company — Struans is based on Hong-Kong based conglomerate Jardine-Matheson, whose history mirrors that of Struans. Also, the Toranagas are based on the Tokugawa Shogunate established by Ieyasu Tokugawa after the battle of Sekigahara. The two main characters — Malcolm Uames and Yoshi Toranaga are based on real people.

In Hames stepped down and returned power to Emperor Meiji. Historical Background and the Book as a reflection of Japanese Society. The entire country was united after centuries of anarchy and fragmentation. Samurai seldom saw battle and spent most of their time in castle towns with ceremonial weapons, armour and functions.

Bushido went from being an art that was practiced and lived, to a science that was studied and praised. After the Battle of Sekigahara in the beginning of the seventeenth century Ieyasu Tokugawa was the only remaining general of consequence in Japan.

Though the emperor was the ruler of Japan, his power was purely jaes. Thus was established the Tokugawa Shogunate. Ties were established through intermarriage and business.


The lords and samurai were encouraged to spend lavishly so that they would remain in debt and would become accustomed to a life of luxury, always easily intimidated by the military dictatorship whenever required. In this way all will soon become debt ridden, ever more dependant on u s and, more important, without teeth — while we continue to be thrifty and eschew extravagance. The Tokugawa kept a firm grip on the nation, but were nevertheless blindsided and power slipped away.


The profits generated by the extravagant spending of the daimyos lords remained in the hands of artisans, peasants and merchants because tax collections remained unchanged for the entire duration of the Shogunate. The samurai — whose purpose was duty to the master, had always held merchants in iames esteem.

Artisans and peasants on the other hand were subject to immediate decapitation at the hands of samurai for any real or notional slight. By the nineteenth century however, the samurai were in deep financial trouble; they were purely consumers without any productive function in society. Inevitably they had to give up their honourable retainership and take up any job that was available to feed their families.

Two of my little jln have died. Three of my uncles gave up samurai class and their swords — they sold them as part payment for debts to the money lender, swords that were used in Sekigahara — to become clsvell, at least they are working the nets clavelk boat owners, dawn to dusk, to get a little cash!

It was the flexible Japanese population that prospered. With exposure to the west through the merchant ships that brought international trade to Japanese shores, the merchants, artisans and citizens that adopted a relatively more materialistic view made money and gave employment increasing productivity. Poetry, not at all, calligraphy nothing, sword-forging gwi little, politics, yes, but only as it affected trade, but an opportunity to sell something for a profit — anything, a ship or a canon or cup or knife or length of silk — brought instant results.

Their food is money. References and Further Reading. The Third Shogunate – A factbehindfiction. Best of the Site. The Prince of Persia Trojan War: Home Adventure Biographies Business.

His success was due also to two previous warlords who ruled Japan prior to him. Perry of the American Navy. A Yokohama foreign traders market illustration. Tokugawa Yoshinobuan old-school samurai and a dangerous and cunning adversary; he was the model for the character of Yoshi Toranaga.

James Clavell’s Gai-Jin : A Novel of Japan

Illustration of the Namamugi Incident ; unprovoked samurai attacked a party of foreigners leading to a confrontation between diplomats and militaries. Enter the ISBN to find the book.

A Yokohama foreign traders market illustration Image: Tokugawa Yoshinobuan old-school samurai and a dangerous and cunning adversary; he was the model for the character of Yoshi Toranaga Image: