Has anybody else read these books by James Clavell? A little over a decade ago, a friend recommended I read Shogun, saying that it was the japanese equivalent to Gone with the Wind. If you haven't read the book, it basically chronicles the involvement of an English pilot in the intrigues that lead to the Toranaga shogunate. As a westerner, Clavell cleverly uses the pilot's culture shock to explain to us why the Japanese characters behave in a way that might be seemingly odd.
I've only read the first 3 of the series (Shogun, Taipan, and Gaijin), so I can't comment on Clavell's later additions. But if you've yet to read Gaijin, I would recommend doing so. It restores the feel of Shogun.
Gaijin just felt like the Shogun edition of Taipan. In addition, it just seemed like so much less ever really happened despite being as long as it is. Pretty turned off from the rest of the series at this point.
The movie of King Rat was also excellent, as was the ten hour Shōgun miniseries.