It is 1862 and Japan is a land in chaos as the power of the Shogun wanes and the rival factions plan to restore the Emperor. In Yokohama, the gai-jin, the hated foreigners, seek to profit from the chaos. At the head of the Noble House - and heir to the title of Tai-Pan - stands Malcolm Struan, who is determined to become his own man and marry the woman he loves. At the head of the Shogunate party is the Lord Yoshi, a direct descendant of Shogun Toranaga, who shares all of his ancestor's cunning and ambition.
James Clavell, the son of a Royal Navy family, was educated in Portsmouth before, as a young artillery officer, he was captured by the Japanese at the Fall of Singapore. It was on this experience that his bestselling novel KING RAT was based. He maintained this oriental interest in his other great works: TAI-PAN, SHOGUN, NOBLE HOUSE and GAI JIN. Clavell lived for many years in Vancouver and Los Angeles, before settling in Switzerland, where he died in 1994.