How does British Columbia become 17th century feudal Japan in FX’s “SHŌGUN”? Through it’s sprawling coastlines, the magic of film, and pieces of authenticity thrown in for good measure.


Phil Pacaud, FX’s “SHŌGUN” set


After being announced in 2018, and a few false starts, FX’s “SHŌGUN” announced the production would move filming to Port Moody, British Columbia. B.C. has long been celebrated for its diverse landscapes making it an ideal backdrop, and stand-in, for many film and television productions.

FX’s “SHŌGUN” is based on James Clavell’s epic novel set in seventeenth-century feudal Japan. It follows a British man’s attempts to learn and understand the culture of Japan, virtually unknown in Western society, when he washes ashore after being lost at sea.

To replicate Japan in Port Moody, the production imported items from Japan including fabrics, swords, ropes, and additional props. A Japanese Pine tree was sourced and planted on set.  Cultural advisors and experts in Japan consulted with the crew to guide the work in staying true to the era, as COVID-19 travel restrictions prevented any chance of research-focused travel.


Jose Alvarado, Disney General Entertainment


To further the impact of British Columbia standing in for Japan, after wrapping FX’s “SHŌGUN” left a remarkable act of goodwill in the heart of the community. As a gesture of appreciation to the people of Port Moody and British Columbia who welcomed the crew, the production team donated the valuable Japanese Pine tree used on set to the community.


Japanese Pine from FX’s “SHŌGUN” in Port Moody, BC


The production crew arranged planting the Japanese Pine in a public space, outside City Hall of Port Moody to be accessible to all. This act of goodwill reminds us of the lasting impact that the film industry can have, not only in the realm of entertainment but also in nurturing relationships and promoting a sense of community and cultural appreciation long after the cameras stop rolling.

FX’s “SHŌGUN” airs Fall 2023.