My preliminary, not-very-edited thoughts on 'Shogun':
I finally finished 'Shogun' last night. It was magnificent. Mariko was totally inspiring. The most powerful part of the book, for me, ended up being, surprisingly, the romance, mostly because of Mariko.
'Shogun' is one of the most inspirational books I’ve read lately, bar none. It inspired me to think about honor and duty. I don't buy into all of the values, obviously (eg, deceit).
Mariko is an inspiration to me. I want to serve honorably.
Mariko was Toranaga's peregrine. Mariko was samurai. Mariko-chan.
The big thing to learn from Toranaga is his patience. He always gave himself time to find another way. He didn't act or decide prematurely.
In the end, both of the actual narrative and the meaning a, the story was shaped by Toranaga. He’s the one who always had a plan.