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Was Shōgun’s Vasco Rodrigues A Real Person? What Happens to Him in the FX Show?

Was Shōgun's Vasco Rodrigues A Real Person? What Happens to Him in the FX Show?

  |   Written by Fatima Castillo

Was the Portuguese pilot based on or inspired by a real person? Find out here.
Article From Epic Stream

Vasco Rodrigues (played by Nestor Carbonell) is a Portuguese merchant who pilots the treasure vessel known as the Black Ship. He was instrumental in bringing John Blackthorne to Japan.

In his first episode appearance, he appeared to be a calm and collected man in front of Blackthorne, who was fearing that he may die soon.

To that, Vasco simply offers his words of wisdom to the man crying in woe: “One cannot resist the unseen path of nature. All we can do is accept our small part.”

But don’t let the soft appearance fool you.

As soon as he mentions finding one of the most valuable books on Blackthorne’s ship, instead of cowering in fear when the first white samurai threatens him, Vasco pulls out the gun he kept in his pocket.

This shows how resourceful Vasco is as a character, knowing full well what he got himself into when he delivers Blackthorne to Lord Toranaga.

While he never intended to reach Japan, he became the first Englishman to step onto their lands, with much encouragement from Vasco himself as they were about to head out of the ship.

“Go up [to Osaka] and tell me what you see.” Vasco advises, “And then ask yourself what kind of man wields power in a land like this.”

Considering that Blackthorne was inspired by a real Englishman, is Vasco based on a real person, too?

Is Vasco Rodrigues A Real Person?
To be clear — Vasco Rodrigues is NOT based on a real person.

Similar to how James Clavell’s original novels were written, the limited series is mostly based on the fictional plot.

That is, apart from the forbidden love story of “Lady Mariko falling in love with the white guy”, as told by the Mariko actress Anna Sawai herself.

In the source materials though, Vasco was a minor antagonist who eventually becomes one of Blackthorne’s most trusted friends.

It remains to be seen if we’ll be watching this transition in the new series, however, there’s a chance that the first two episodes are already building into that arc.

In the meantime, the first two episodes are available to stream on Hulu. The next episode is set to debut on the platform on March 5.

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