‘Shōgun’ Star Hiroyuki Sanada Accepted Role Only If Japanese Actors Were Cast

Shōgun has quickly risen to become one of the hottest Disney+ shows of the month with widespread critical reception, and holds a 99% score on Rotten Tomatoes. But behind-the-scenes, producer and star Hiroyuki Sanada, who plays Lord Yoshii Toranaga, is the reason for the show’s authentic casting of Japanese actors.

hiroyuki sanada

Sanada also revealed more tidbits about the show’s production in an interview with Vanity Fair, where he commented on the lack of diverse casting and Asian talents in Hollywood movies.  “I’ve wanted to make something about Japanese culture in Hollywood. I’ve wanted to correct and introduce our culture to the world in an authentic way for such a long time. When I got the title of producer, I was happy. I thought, It’s a good chance to correct everything.”

hiroyuki sanada

He also agreed that Hollywood has depicted Japanese culture inaccurately in the past, and wanted Shōgun to “change things. Then there will be a new normal in the studios.” Sanada also had a list of conditions for his involvement in the TV series, “including, if you don’t hire Japanese actors for a Japanese role, I cannot be involved in this project.”

Hiroyuki Sanada did not rule out the possibility of a sequel either, hinting that “The novel’s events finish with our [finale], episode 10. If they want to make something more, it’s going to be totally original. Who knows? The model of Shōgun makes it easy to see what happened in real life, and then we can create an original story from then. Who knows? We have history.”