Two weeks before “Shōgun” transports audiences back four hundred years to historic Japan, the FX series made a stop in Los Angeles for its official premiere. The ten-episode limited series will debut on Hulu and FX on Tuesday, February 27th with its first two episodes. Based on the 1975 novel by James Clavell which was previously adapted as a 1980 miniseries, “Shōgun” follows the engaging, complex, and treacherous relationships that build between a marooned English pilot, a Japanese lord, and their translator in the year 1600.

From the series’ official description, “producer Hiroyuki Sanada stars as Lord Yoshii Toranaga who is fighting for his life as his enemies on the Council of Regents unite against him. When a mysterious European ship is found marooned in a nearby fishing village, its English pilot, John Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis), comes bearing secrets that could help Toranaga tip the scales of power and devastate the formidable influence of Blackthorne’s own enemies — the Jesuit priests and Portuguese merchants. Toranaga’s and Blackthorne’s fates become inextricably tied to their translator, Toda Mariko (Anna Sawai), a mysterious Christian noblewoman and the last of a disgraced line. While serving her lord amidst this fraught political landscape, Mariko must reconcile her newfound companionship with Blackthorne, her commitment to the faith that saved her and her duty to her late father.”

LOS ANGELES- FEBRUARY 13: Eriko Miyagawa attends the red carpet premiere for FX’s “Shōgun” at the Academy Museum in Los Angeles, California on February 13, 2024. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup for FX)

At The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, the cast and crew arrived with a sense of energy and excitement for this true-to-life production that introduces Japanese culture in a tangible and real way to American audiences. Producer Eriko Miyagawa stressed her role of ensuring authenticity: “That was my primary responsibility, working closely with creators Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo and all the team every step of the way. It’s quite unusual. It’s an American show, and oftentimes, I’m usually just hired as a consultant or to oversee one aspect of things, but, for them to bring Hiro and I as a producer and as a partner throughout the process, really, I think, made a difference because that allowed us to really think of the project as a whole.”

Sanada spoke to his role as a producer and how that allowed him to help shape the project. “This is the first time ever I’ve done producing, and we tried to make everything authentic as much as possible. I hired the Japanese crew from Japan. For each department, costumes, props, everything. So I had a great team, and it was a special thing for me, to introduce our culture to the world correctly. That was my dream, so it’s kind of like dreams come true.”

LOS ANGELES- FEBRUARY 13: Hiroyuki Sanada attends the red carpet premiere for FX’s “Shōgun” at the Academy Museum in Los Angeles, California on February 13, 2024. (Photo by Scott Kirkland/PictureGroup for FX)

Sawai echoed the impact of having such visionary Japanese influences enmeshed in the working experience. “I was just surprised at how many people came to this show and shared their knowledge. It was truly the longest call sheet that I’ve ever seen, with all names, we had Japanese people from Japan coming in, not just local people in Vancouver. The amount of people that came to just create this show that we are all so proud of, that was what really amazed me.”

Takehiro Hira, who stars as Ishido Kazunari, shared how he was blown away by an entirely different level of production values than he has become accustomed to in his many years in the industry. “My first day, the set was humongous. There was just a massive scale that I had never seen before. I mean, I’ve worked in Japan for twenty years. I’ve made many samurai shows, but the sets, the costumes, I’ve never seen anything like that. It was authentic, and I learned a lot from the costume designers and the scriptwriters. It was a truly authentic show.”

Though Tommy Bastow, who plays Father Alvito, admitted immediately that he hadn’t yet seen the show, his positivity was palpable. “But I’ve never been so excited for a show before. When I arrived on set and they rebuilt Osaka Castle, all these Japanese fishing villages, just the care and attention to detail, it’s like nothing I had seen on another show before. Budgets crazy, the writers, the actors! I mean, I really had to raise my game, because I knew that this was going to be something really special. I’m unbelievably proud and grateful to be on this project.”

LOS ANGELES- FEBRUARY 13: Anna Sawai and Cosmo Jarvis attend the red carpet premiere for FX’s “Shōgun” at the Academy Museum in Los Angeles, California on February 13, 2024. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup for FX)

Jarvis commented on the more intimate nature of his portrayal and how he approached this physically demanding role. “The physical parts of it are usually secondary symptoms of what the story demands, so I don’t think about it too much, whether it’s cold or wet, or whether the guy’s in pain, or whatever he’s going through. I didn’t think about any of those things too much. Primarily, it seemed to me to be a case of trying to give legitimacy to the adventure and the hugeness of the stakes that he was facing from a mental point of view, trying to really lock down what he was thinking about when he was saying things and why he was saying those kinds of things.”

It’s evident that a great deal of work went into this visually impressive and staggering production. Miyagawa underlined the scope of what was needed to create the tremendous finished product: “If you see it, I think you can imagine the work that it took, but if you triple that, because everything takes three times more. An American show, you can submit a script and shoot it, whereas this, we translate it and then the dialogue has to be polished and made period, and that has to be gone through with the actors. A lot of time and money and hard work went into this.”

Audiences will have the chance to experience “Shōgun” on a weekly basis following the two-episode premiere on February 27th. One new installment rolls out each Tuesday through the finale on April 23rd. “Shōgun” is created for television by Rachel Kondo & Justin Marks, with Marks serving as showrunner and executive producer alongside Michaela Clavell, Edward L. McDonnell, Michael De Luca and Kondo. The series is produced by FX Productions.