I agree that this was the best TV mini-series ever made. I had several VHS tapes of it, from it's original broadcasts, but those are long gone. It has also been recently released on DVD. Based on James Clavell's 1,200+ page novel about a 16th century British/Dutch privateer being shipwrecked in Japan and loosely based on actual events in Japanese history. The mini-series was a collaboration of Japanese and American film makers.
Ships pilot (navigator), John Blackthorne (Richard Chamberlain) and his men are captured by the Japanese. John has a talent for languages and is asked by the daimyo (nobleman), Lord Toranaga (Toshiro Mifune) to learn Japanese, especially when he finds that Blackthorne's Protestants are at war with the Spanish and Portuguese Catholics. Toranaga knows that he can get some insights into these foreign devils.
Lord Toranaga has some problems of his own with a power struggle of daimyos vying for ultimate control, to be the most powerful general (below the emperor) in Japan. To become Shogun.
The mini-series did a fairly good job of conveying the various factions and cultures, and how good or badly they related to each other.