Shogun: What Is Crimson Sky? Meaning In the Show, Explained

By Klein Felt Posted:
Hiroyuki Sanada’s Lord Yoshii Toranaga in Shogun

Following its mention in Shogun Episode 6, fans are wondering the meaning behind Lord Toranaga's Crimson Sky plan. 

Following the fall of the Regent Council and the rise of Japan's Tokugawa shogunate (which ruled from 1603 to 1868), the FX historical drama has thus far been setting up the pieces for an all-out war.

Now, more than halfway through the series, the dominos towards conflict are starting to fall as Hiroyuki Sanada's Lord Yoshii Toranaga prepares for battle to rule over all of Feudal Japan. 

Breaking Down Shogun's Crimson Sky Plan

Shogun Crimson Sky Toranaga

Shogun Episode 6 saw the winds of war begin to blow, introducing - to the confusion of many - something known as Crimson Sky. 

Crimson Sky is a war tactic discussed by Hiroyuki Sanada's Lord Yoshii Toranaga and his compatriots that the disgraced Japanese lord may have to use in his battle against the Regent Council. 

It would see a single large-scale attack on the capital of Osaka to overthrow the council. If successful, it would allow Toranaga to take the throne as Lord Regent. 

This comes after Toranaga had been ousted from the council, with his fate in the hands of his fellow Lords. 

Up to this point, he has been reluctant to launch an offensive against the Lord Council, believing he did not have the numbers and did not want to become Shogun if the effort proved successful. 

Shogun Crimson Sky Army

However, Toranaga's mind was changed in Episode 6 when one of the other five regents, Sugiyama, was assassinated by the council on the order of the newly freed Lady Ochiba. 

While Toranaga may have thought he could bide his time before, Ochiba's ruthless tactics have him rethinking his plan, as - following Sugiyama - he could be next. 

This unrelenting grip the council seems to have on power in Japan thrusts Toranaga forth, as he accepts that he has no other choice than to execute the Crimson Sky plan to stop Ochiba and the other Lords, forcing them from their seats.

While it remains unclear when Toranaga and his army will enact the Crimson Sky plan, there is one major indicator potentially pointing fans in the direction of when the assault on Osaka will happen. 

Shogun's penultimate Episode 9 is named after the war plan (titled "Crimson Sky"), meaning one can likely expect most of the bloodshed to take place then. 

Episode 9 of Shogun is expected to be released on Tuesday, April 16. 

[ Shogun Episode 6 Release Date & Remaining Schedule on FX & Hulu ]

Shogun is streaming now on Hulu with new episodes released weekly on FX as well at 10 p.m. ET. 

Read more about Shogun:

Full Cast of Shogun 2024 Series - Every Main Character & Actor In FX Show (Photos)

Shogun 2024 FX TV Series Vs. Book Differences Explained by Producer (Exclusive)

Will Shogun Season 2 Happen? Producers Address FX Series' Potential Future (Exclusive)

Shogun: What Is a Fief? Meaning In the Show, Explained

- In This Article: Shogun
Release Date
February 27, 2024
Cable TV
Anna Sawai
Cosmo Jarvis
Hiroyuki Sanada
- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.