‘Shogun’ Episode 7 Recap & Ending Explained: Is Yoshii Nagakado Dead Or Alive?


In the sixth episode of Shogun, Ishido and Lady Ochiba approached Lord Ito for the post of fifth Regent so that they could move ahead with their plan to impeach Toranaga. Sugiyama opposed this decision because he wasn’t okay with the hostage situation that Ishido and Lady Ochiba had created, and he also stated that the death threats aimed at the Heir of Taiko were fake. On Lady Ochiba’s suggestion, Ishido killed Sugiyama. Hiromatsu informed Toranaga about Ishido and Ochiba’s movements, and the former Regent decided to get in touch with his half-brother Saeki Nobutatsu and go ahead with Crimson Sky, i.e., an ancient form of warfare to take over Osaka and plant a new head of the nation. John Blackthorne wanted in on all this, and Toranaga didn’t want to involve him. So, he sent him away to Kiku, which angered Mariko, Nagakado, and Omi. Let’s see if Toranaga’s gamble paid off or not.

Spoiler Alert

Saeki Nobutatsu Arrives in Ajiro

Episode 7 of Shogun opens with Lord Toranaga’s first battle as a child, where he defeated Mizoguchi and was tasked with beheading him after Mizoguchi committed seppuku. Mizoguchi hoped that in his next lifetime, he’d be the one holding the sword to behead Toranaga. It seems like an irrelevant piece of trivia, but this moment echoes throughout today’s episode. The narrative returns to the present day to show Toranaga’s meeting with Saeki Nobutatsu after several years. After exchanging a few amicable words with each other, Toranaga and his clan escort Nobutatsu into Ajiro. In order to keep Nobutatsu pleased, Toranaga hires Lady Kiku for a week. Apparently, Gin agreed to a low price if Toranaga allowed her to speak her mind in front of him for a limited period of time, which was measured with the help of an incense stick, referred to as a time stick. 

John enters the conversation because Toranaga wants to tell him to be on his best behavior in front of Nobutatsu instead of complicating things. John complains about being useless in this whole Crimson Sky affair and wants to access his ship. When he realizes that Toranaga isn’t going to budge, he simply assures him that he is ready to do whatever Toranaga wants him to do. Omi tries to talk to Kiku, but Gin sends him away while giving him a hint about John and Mariko’s affair. Hiromatsu pays Fuji a visit and gives her the ashes of her child and her husband. Fuji briefly casts doubt on Toranaga and Hiromatsu’s battle plans and then proceeds to assure him that they’ll definitely witness victory at the end of this whole ordeal. While Nobutatsu enjoys the hospitality of Ajiro, Nagakado keeps talking about the impending bloodbath. Yabushige humbles him by telling him that it’s better to look for pleasure in a woman than in violence, which is true. If everyone sought non-toxic, consensual, reciprocal love (which isn’t limited by sex or gender) as the ultimate achievement, I think the world would’ve been a better place.

Omi and Nagakado Dream of Simpler Times

Toranaga and his clan sit down for dinner with Nobutatsu and his men. There’s a brief moment where Omi teases Buntaro about Mariko’s proximity to John, but the focus mainly stays on Nobutatsu and Toranaga. Although things start on a funny note, with Nobutatsu talking about Toranaga’s exploits as a young warrior who slayed Mizoguchi, which is something that gets the blood-thirsty Nagakado all excited, the social affair takes a grim turn. Toranaga says that he is going to discuss strategies with Nobutatsu the following day, but Nobutatsu insists that they should do it immediately. Then he turns to Nagakado and tells him about the time Toranaga was sent to the Imatani clan as a hostage to solidify their bond with the Minowara clan, and the young Toranaga apparently soiled his clothes. This probably would’ve been funny in a more private setting, but it comes off as an insult in this somewhat formal meeting. 

Nobutatsu’s remark isn’t accidental, as he follows it up with the revelation that he has accepted Ishido’s offer to become a Regent and that he is going to hold Ajiro hostage until Toranaga decides to surrender in Osaka. Additionally, Nagakado is ordered to commit seppuku for killing Nebara Jozen. Toranaga tells Nagakado and everyone else to do nothing until he arrives at a decision in the next 24 hours. John wants to make a move but isn’t allowed to do so. Nobutatsu gives Igarashi’s severed head to Yabushige, which means that Yabushige doesn’t have Ishido’s support anymore. Ishido’s ship arrives on the shores of Ajiro, thereby signaling a full-scale invasion. Nagakado asks Toranaga if he has decided to go to war, and Toranaga tells his immature son that the people who have never engaged in a fight are the ones who are constantly baying for blood. That doesn’t decrease Nagakado’s arrogance, as he mocks Gin for asking Toranaga to talk to her. Toranaga stays true to his promise to listen to her, though. 

I don’t know if the conversation between them is a fruitful one because Gin wants to safeguard herself and her employees, and Toranaga wants to protect everyone. As Gin realizes that Toranaga won’t listen to her pleas, she questions the reason behind Toranaga’s carelessness, which has led to this situation. Now, that’s a good point. Is Toranaga really on the backfoot, or is this part of his game plan? Well, while waiting for the answer to this, Yabushige goes for a bath in the hot springs, while Omi and Nagakado, in a different hot spring, talk about the peaceful times they’ve left behind and how they want to re-establish the status quo. Nagakado and Omi’s conversation is interrupted by Nobutatsu, who justifies his decision by saying that he doesn’t want to die in an ugly fashion. Nagakado keeps yapping about how a warrior’s death is beautiful and whatnot, and Nobutatsu humbles him too by reminding him that death is not synonymous with beauty.

Toranaga Finally Surrenders

As John observes the ships on the shores of Ajiro, Yabushige approaches him for a sparring session so that John can defend himself if his pistols don’t work. The idiotic Buntaro uses this opportunity to try and kill John. He realizes that he is being stupid, and he also notices that John doesn’t fear death. So, he lives the scene with his tail between his legs. Fuji is seen training in the woods for the impending battle when she is approached by Nagakado. He tells her how he should’ve been the one who should’ve stood up to Ishido. Then, Fuji’s husband and her child would’ve been alive. Fuji simply tells him that it’s pointless to think about what could’ve happened in the past and that they should ponder upon what can be done presently. The scene then shifts to Toranaga writing his will, and that is interrupted by Buntaro who wants to kill John. Toranaga says that if Buntaro thinks that Mariko is having an affair with John, then he has to kill both of them. Mariko accepts the proposal, but since Buntaro doesn’t have the courage to do that, he walks away. Embarrassed by this whole interaction, Mariko tells Toranaga to end her misery, but Toranaga refuses to do so. 

In the end, Toranaga decides to meet Nobutatsu in an open field. Before his half-brother arrives, Toranaga clarifies a wrong piece of information regarding his heroics. He didn’t behead Mizoguchi with a single swing of his blade. According to Hiromatsu, it took Toranaga nine messy hits to behead Mizoguchi, thereby proving that most stories about heroism are pretty hollow and full of lies. The brief moment of levity is dampened by Nobutatsu’s arrival. Toranaga tells him that he will surrender in Osaka. Everyone tries to stop him from doing so, but Toranaga doesn’t budge. John angrily leaves the meeting while insulting everyone, especially Toranaga.

Is Yoshii Nagakado dead or alive?

At the end of Shogun Episode 7, after Nobutatsu is done enjoying Lady Kiku’s services, the juvenile Nagakado attacks him with the intention of killing him. The whole operation goes woefully wrong as Nagakado slips on Nobutatsu’s wet gown, hits his head on a rock, and bleeds to death. Nobutatsu remembers his conversation with Nagakado to underscore his opinion about the lack of beauty in death. How is this going to impact the plot now? I honestly don’t know. I knew that Nagakado was going to do something stupid, and I was expecting him to fail. However, I didn’t expect him to fail so spectacularly. Since Nobutatsu has the upper hand, it’s possible that he’ll force Toranaga to pay for Nagakado’s insolence before going to Osaka. Maybe that’ll force Toranaga to unleash his Minowara roots. I do hope that he has something up his sleeve, or else he and his clan will have to do the bidding of the Council of Regents for the foreseeable future. With three more episodes to go, it’ll be interesting to see what other twists the makers of Shogun have in store for us.

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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