“How beautiful life is, and how sad. There is no past and no future, only a limitless now”

James Clavel, Shogun

When I learned that James Clavell’s Shōgun would have a mini-series adaptation and it was going to be streamed on family-friendly Disney+, in the Philippines, because FX is under its wing here, I had a really good laugh.

This is going to be a trip, I told myself.

My mind immediately drifted into how Disney would adapt the gore (spoiler: lots of people’s heads getting chopped off) while they navigate through (or maybe omit) all the cock references in the book. I mean, if it was HBO instead of Disney, they would’ve made an adaptation that would’ve made Euphoria’s dick count seem like a TV series for prudes.

I remember then innocent me reading the novel while in 4th (or maybe 5th) grade in the late 80’s and remember immersing myself in its narrative on Japanese culture, on Bushido, and on of all things… how the Japanese women in the story were so in awe of the white man’s huge cock, and expanding the vocabulary of a young and clueless me, when I learned of the words flaccid and taut which somehow found its way into the book from the first chapter to the last.

I was nine, or maybe 10 at the time, dick and Uranus jokes were the norm with all the other kids my age, you know with the Boy Bastos jokes, and the fun games during fiestas where boys would be conscripted by the elders to compete against each other in palayuan ng ihi, all-boys summer camps, etc…

Of course back then, I was oblivious to the fact it was written from a white man’s point-of-view and made to appeal to the people of that time when the book was written (in the 70s). It was a bestseller, I mean we had two copies of it in the 80’s, a white paperback one that was always in the banyo for some reason, that’s where I first found it, and another that had a more colorful cover and in a more pristine shape in the shelves along with the other Asian saga books.

The book remains on my list of favorites in spite of what every woke person now says of the book’s flaws and misrepresentation, but only because of the fond memories of playtime and make believe that I enjoyed as a child at that time with my Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes action figures, and Shintaro! Fond memories of me running up and down three flights of stairs with my plastic katana wearing nothing but shorts and a dirty bathrobe, a sweaty shirt covering my face to make me ninja.

Kanina, I saw the first two episodes of the mini-series and loved it. I can see myself enjoying watching the rest of it. Bitin nga lang was all I could think of, as I wish I waited longer so I could’ve binge watched the entire thing.

Now I have to wait for the next episode. Tite.

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