'Shōgun' Will Officially Return for Season 2: Everything We Know

The FX series set in 1600s Japan may actually return for a second season.

a man in gold japanese period wear (Hiroyuki Sanada as Yoshii Toranaga) sits while holding up a white letter, with one man standing behind him and two more kneeling at each side, in 'shogun' (2024)
(Image credit: Katie Yu/FX)

Sadly, all great things must come to an end, and the FX miniseries Shōgun is no exception. The epic series, based on the book of the same name by James Clavell, premiered on February 27, 2024, and established itself as the first Game of Thrones-level television event of the year, raking in 9 million streaming views in its first week. It follows the fictional story of Lord Yoshii Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada), a 17th-century Japanese lord who is pulled into a battle of wits as his enemies conspire to take away his power and have him killed. If he dies, all his allies will likely be executed with him, including British sailor John Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis) and translator Toda Mariko (Anna Sawai).

Although the April 23 season finale brought the stories of Toranaga, Mariko, and Blackthorne to an end, fans are hoping for any chance that the series' gorgeous, brutal, intricate depiction of 1600s Japan could return. As it turns out, FX also may not be ready to let go of its new mega-hit series. Below, here's what we know so far about the future of Shōgun.

What happens at the end of 'Shōgun?'

Shōgun followed the looming war between Toranaga and his vassal lords and Ishido Kazunari (Takehiro Hira) and Ochiba-no-kata (Fumi Nikaido), mother of the country's Heir—and by the end of the finale, all of the season's big questions were answered.

Following Mariko's sacrifice at Osaka Castle in the penultimate episode, the other members of the Council of Regents turn against Ishido. He also loses Ochiba, who was childhood friends with Mariko, and becomes enraged that he had her killed. Because of that, Ochiba sends a secret note to Toranaga promising that her son's military will not join Ishido's at war. Without the backing of the Heir, the rest of the Council is expected to turn against Ishido, and Toranaga will easily win the battle and become the de facto leader of Japan.

Cosmo Jarvis and John Blackthorne and Moeka Hoshi as Usami Fuji, in 'Shogun' (2024)

Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis) and Usami Fuji (Moeka Hoshi) mourn Mariko in the Shōgun finale.

(Image credit: Katie Yu/FX)

Meanwhile, Blackthorne is utterly devastated by Mariko's death. He's allowed to return to Toranaga in Edo, but he learns that Mariko made a deal with the Portuguese Catholics. Instead of killing Blackthorne, they torch his ship — leaving him with close to nothing, as now both Mariko and his ship are gone, as well as his consort Fuji (Moeka Hoshi), who announces that she's going to become a nun.

However, when Blackthorne goes to Toranaga to ask for permission to kill himself, the bushō has other plans: He tells him to rebuild his ship and resume his role as captain of Toranaga's war fleet.

Then, in the final scene when Toranaga lays out his plan to the soon-to-be-executed Yabushige (Tadanobu Asano), the warlord reveals that he was the one to burn Blackthorne's ship, at Mariko's request. Toranaga also admits that he kept the anjin around just because he amused him.

As the 1980 adaptation of Shōgun centered Blackthorne's character so much so that the Japanese dialogue wasn't translated, it's a nice note to end on, illustrating how much the Englishman was a relative non-factor.

Anna Sawai as Lady Mariko and Hiroyuki Sanada as Lord Toronaga, sitting on horseback in a hilly forest, in 'Shogun'

Lady Mariko (Anna Sawai) and Lord Toronaga (Hiroyuki Sanada) on horseback, in Shōgun.

(Image credit: Katie Yu/FX)

Will there be a 'Shōgun' season 2?

Despite originally being billed as a miniseries, Shōgun's immense success has made FX reconsider the show's fate. On May 16, the network announced that FX and Hulu are developing not one but two additional seasons of the period drama, with season 1 co-creators Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo, executive producer Michaela Clavell, and star and producer Hiroyuki Sanada on board.

Per the press release, "Production timing has not been locked in, but a writers’ room is being assembled and will begin this summer." Though this is not an official two-season order, the news is another significant step forward in continuing the former limited series.

The release also stated Shōgun has become FX’s most-watched show ever, based on global hours streamed since its premiere on February 27.

cosmo jarvis as john blackthorne and anna sawai as toda mariko, standing in the woods with a young soldier (right), in shogun

John Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis) and Anna Sawai (Toda Mariko), in Shōgun.

(Image credit: Katie Yu/FX)

The news came after Deadline reported on May 10 that Hiroyuki Sanada had "closed a deal" to return as Lord Yoshii Toronaga for a future season.

According to the outlet, "Other elements are still being worked out and deals are being finalized as part of an effort by FX to take Shogun to a second season in light of the big commercial and critical success of the limited series."

Hiroyuki Sanada as Yoshii Toranaga and Tadanobu Asano as Kashigi Yabushige, in 'Shogun' (2024)

Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada) and Yabushige (Tadanobu Asano) in the Shōgun finale.

(Image credit: Katie Yu/FX)

What could happen in 'Shōgun' season 2?

It's hard to guess where Shōgun season 2 could go. Season 1 is essentially a full adaption of Clavell's novel, as the show's central plot goes up to the novel's end. However, countless original stories could be explored in a sequel season, from later years in Toranaga and Blackthorne's lives to an entirely new period of Japanese history or even a prequel.

Some clues could be found in the real-life history that inspired the series. Shōgun technically ends before we see Toranaga and Ishido on the battlefield, though the finale does show the moment before the fight when Ishido learns that Ochiba has betrayed him. As for the true history, the Battle of Sekigahara took place on October 21, 1600, and was won by Toranaga's real-life counterpart, Tokugawa Ieyasu. The fighting lasted six hours, with Tokugawa winning after some other powerful lords switched to his side.

Per the USC Pacific Asia Museum, Tokugawa's victory marked the end of over 200 years of civil war and gave way to the start of the peaceful Edo period. The Tokugawa shogunate ruled over Japan for the next 250 years from the relocated capital of Edo, or modern-day Tokyo. Assuming both the Shōgun novel and miniseries follow this path, Toranaga succeeded in bringing forth "a nation without wars" and "an era of great peace."

What has the cast and crew said about 'Shōgun' season 2?

Before recent news that FX is considering a season 2, creators Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo said in interviews that they had never planned for an additional season.

Although speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in a March 2024 interview, the duo did say it was a "bummer" to end the series after such hard work.

"We took the story to the end of the book and put a period at the end of that sentence," Marks told the outlet. "We love how the book ends; it was one of the reasons why we both knew we wanted to do it — and we ended in exactly that place. And I’ve been party to this in the past with shows like this, where you build a whole factory, and it only pumps out 10 cars and closes up shop. It’s a bummer."

a woman (Anna Sawai as Toda Mariko) wearing a white and red japanese kimono stands in a room as noblemen and women sit around her, in shogun (2024)

Mariko (Anna Sawai) addresses the Council of Regents in Shōgun episode 9.

(Image credit: Katie Yu/FX)

During an interview with Marie Claire, Anna Sawai admitted that she'd be open to returning to the character of Mariko, if the right circumstances arise.

"I love Mariko so much that if there was more that I could explore, I would do it in a heartbeat," she said. "But I think that her story is now complete, and I don't know if anyone should be trying to like touch that. It's kind of perfect the way it ended."

Still, she expressed interest in seeing more of her character's arc in some form. She added, "If there is a prequel then, yeah, it would be when she's younger, and I don't know if I can play her younger."

When will 'Shōgun' season 2 be released?

Season 2 may be confirmed, but it's hard to say when the show will be back. Although, it'll likely be a while, considering the showrunners also suspected Shōgun would always be a miniseries, based on how long of a production it was. Considering how early the series is in the process of its renewal, we'd guess new episodes won't start airing for another two years or so.

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.