Shogun Star Moeka Hoshi Talks Personal Connection to Fuji, Season 2 Prospects & More (Exclusive)

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Hiroyuki Sanada as Yoshii Toranaga, Moeka Hoshi in Shogun

Moeka Hoshi, who plays Fuji in Shogun, revealed her personal connection to the character she played in the critically acclaimed series and her hopes for Season 2.

The critically acclaimed FX series takes place in 1600s Feudal Japan and follows Hiroyuki Sanada’s Yoshii Tornaga, a warlord and busho fighting to keep power in a turbulent political environment—only made worse by the arrival of a foreign stranger, Cosmo Jarvis’ John Blackthorn.

Fuji is a close friend and political ally to Toranaga, who starts the show off after going through a tragedy, only to be assigned as a consort to Anjin, aka Blackthorn.

[ Shogun 2024 Cast, Characters & Actors ]

Moeka Hoshi on Her Closeness to Fuji, Shogun Season 2 Hopes

Moeka Hoshi in Shogun
FX

In an exclusive interview with The Direct’s Russ Milheim, Shogun actress Moeka Hoshi spoke about her character Fuji, her time on set, and what she hopes to do in Season 2 or 3.

Fans are dying for more information about what further seasons of Shogun could look like.

While Hoshi admitted that she is largely in the dark on the developing Season 2, she did assure fans that series co-creators Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo will craft a "very interesting" story for the upcoming seasons:

"But all I can say is just, as a personal fan of 'Shogun' itself, I'm really looking forward to you know what kind of stories are told in Season 2 and Season 3. However, I did pick up, just in my research, and you know, because Shogun does follow history and history is history--I'm not quite sure which battle it was in, but I have heard that there was a group of nuns who did take part in a battle. So, maybe [that]... But again, in Justin [Marks] and Rachel [Kondo] I trust. So, they will come up with something very interesting."

When it came to the source material for Season 1, the actress admitted she "was not familiar with the original book" but that her mother loved it:

"[For] the original book, for me myself, I was not familiar with the original book. However, I mentioned 'Shogun' to my mother. And that's when my mother was like, Oh, you mean the famous Toshiro Mifune, Yoko Shimada was in. So, I think it was just a generational thing. You know, in my mother's generation, you have 'Shogun.' And I'm just part of a younger generation."

She continued, explaining how, in school, she chose to learn Japanese history instead of world history:

"And as far as my familiarity with 1600s Japan, it's something we learned in school. But when I was in high school, I had the option of either taking a class on world history or Japanese history. And I actually chose Japanese history. So I remember, and this was around college entrance exam time, so I was studying really, really hard back then. And in addition to that, to prepare for the role, I did go to the library and read up as much as I could on the period."

When asked what personal experience in her own life made her performance possible, Hoshi recalled the death of he father when she was only 14:

"So, personally, my father actually, he passed away when I was 14.  He was a very significant death with immediate family. So I used that life experience for Fuji when she lost her child and husband, and I also used that personal experience on Fuji's just, emotional journey, and you can even say recovery, in a way, from that trauma. So those are some things I pulled from my own personal life."

Talking about where the show left Fuji, Hoshi explained that Hoshi saw lots of "emotional growth throughout the series," and that "like Mariko," Fuji "[found] her true strength by episode 10:"

"Yeah, I think that, as I mentioned, emotional growth throughout the series, but in episode one, she was almost sheltered in a way she didn't know the world either. And I believe that by Episode 10, she's kind of--she's very grounded. She is a much more grounded person, and perhaps, like Mariko, she has been able to find her true strength by Episode 10."

Hoshi went on to explain how the cultural barriers on set started and where they eventually got to as the show finished up its Season 1 run.

She recounted how "a very basic cultural principle in Japan" is that one does not "ever wear shoes in the house, period"—a tradition that quickly became consistently broken given the filming experience:

"I'll give you an example of what things were like on set at the beginning back in Episode 1. So this is a very basic cultural principle in Japan: you don't ever wear shoes in the house, period. And then we're going back into the 1600s, which means it's tatami mats. You're definitely not supposed to put wear shoes on a tatami mat. But on set, with how shooting can be, you start to have to do things very quickly. People don't have time to take off their shoes."

She admitted that "it can get stressful" when cultural norms are broken like that while explaining that the production did work to try and ease those struggles as shooting went on:

"So, production, at one point, brought in shoe covers and things like that, but as Japanese cast members, seeing shoes on a tatami mat, just in life in general, is just not great. It can get stressful. And also, you don't want any inappropriate garbage in your shot. So production did kind of start implementing more cleaning protocols when there were shoes involved… That was kind of how it was in Episode 1, about kind of meeting in the middle when it comes to how to even treat things when we're not shooting."

Hoshi explained how, by the time they had gotten to Episode 10, it became much easier to have conversations about those cultural elements:

"Also, throughout shooting, by the time we got to Episode 10, I could just have a conversation with [Frederick E.O. Toye], our director, about the scene and things like that. So, there were a lot of things that were overcome throughout the process."

As for the language barrier, the actress admitted that throughout the process, she also "picked up a lot of English throughout shooting."

One thing Shogun fans have loved to do thus far is showcase Moeller Hoshi’s exceptionally emotive facial expressions, such as Fuji's, in the form of several online memes.

"I’ve seen a lot of them," Hoshi explained, adding that the popularity of her character was "just so expected:"

"I've seen a lot of them. I hope or wish there's some sort of site where it's like a collection of all Fuji GIFs and memes. I'm sure there's a lot that I haven't come across yet, but Fuji's popularity was just so unexpected and all I can be is grateful."

Following her time on the show, the actress noted how it has been "great to be recognized for [her] work" and that she’s "more motivated" to "work [more] overseas now:"

"But it's been really great to be recognized for my work as an actor, and it definitely made me more confident. So, that's one thing… It was such a great environment to work in that I'm more motivated to do more projects like this or even just to work overseas now."

[ Shogun Season 2: Will Anna Sawai Return? Mariko Actress Responds (Exclusive) ]


Shogun is now streaming on Hulu and FX.

Read more about Shogun:

Shogun: Did Mariko Sleep With Anjin?

Why Mariko Sacrificed Herself & Died In Shogun, Explained

Shogun: Why Samurai Shave Their Heads, Explained

- In This Article: Shogun
Release Date
February 27, 2024
Platform
Cable TV
Actors
Anna Sawai
Cosmo Jarvis
Hiroyuki Sanada
Genres
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.