Goes deep into the subtleties of Japanese culture of the period of the Shoguns with their intense and unforgiving code of conduct -Bushido. The characters are unforgettable and well developed. The plot is fast moving and just intricate enough withou being confusing. It is 800 pages of escape to a little understood period told from the point of view of a European ship s pilot shipwrecked in Japan. His constant amazement as a witness to this culture pulls the reader in from the first page to the last. James Clavell can tell a story!!!