Sugiyama’s Shogun Fate Explained: What It Means For The Regents & Osaka Hostages

WARNING: Spoilers for Shogun episode 6


  • Sugiyama’s death shifts power to Ishido and Ochiba in the Council of Regents as they will not accept any opposition.
  • Lord Toranaga accepts the Crimson Sky plan after learning about Sugiyama’s death.
  • Sugiyama’s refusal to accept Ito as a Regent member and to vote with the rest of the council led to his demise, showing Ochiba and Ishido’s ruthless pursuit of power.

Sugiyama’s death in Shōgun episode 6 confirms the Council of Regents is now controlled by Ishido and will have major implications for the rest of the show. After refusing to consider this option, Lord Toranaga accepted to put the Crimson Sky plan in motion at the end of Shōgun episode 6. Toranaga’s decision had to do with Lord Sugiyama’s death, which, combined with the hostages in Osaka, sent a message to every daimyo about who was truly ruling the country.

Like many of the Shōgun characters, Sugiyama is loosely based on a real historical figure, Maeda Toshiie. One big difference between Sugiayama and the person he is based on is that the latter died of illness in 1599, whereas the former was killed by Ishido’s men during the events of episode 6. Sugiyama’s fate was only one of many moves by Ochiba-no-kata and Ishido following the return of the Heir’s mother, who wants to eliminate Toranaga and establish her son’s power.

Sugiyama Refused To Accept Ito As The Fifth Regent

The council needed five members to get anything approved

Lord Sugiyama refused to accept Ito as Toranaga’s replacement in the Council of Regents because he knew this new member would be a puppet for Ochiba and Ishido. The Heir’s mother kept multiple daimyos as hostages while looking for a fifth Regent, one that would accept voting for Toranaga’s death and would remain loyal to her. While Lord Ito joined the council and voted as he was expected to, Sugiyama refused to vote for Toranaga’s death. The Christian lord noted he would not be part of something that could put the Heir’s life in danger.

Ishido and Ochiba are working together, but the latter’s approach is far more direct and brings faster results.

Sugiyama also refused to be part of a voting that was only happening because people were being kept as hostages in Osaka. Although plans for Toranaga to be impeached had been discussed since the beginning of the show, it was only after Ochiba-no-kata’s return to Osaka that things began to move. Ochiba called out Ishido’s lack of efficiency and said she did not have time for political games. Ishido and Ochiba are working together, but the latter’s approach is far more direct and brings faster results. However, not every daimyo supports her and Ishido.

Why Sugiyama Was Killed In Shōgun

Those who don’t support Ochiba and Ishido will be replaced

Lord Sugiyama wearning a headpiece while giving a straight stern look in Shogun

By refusing to vote with the rest of the council and stating he did not approve of what was happening, Sugiyama positioned himself as an obstacle for Ochiba and Ishido. The council cannot make any decisions unless all five members vote unanimously, which is why they had to find a replacement for Lord Toranaga in the first place. Without the support of Sugiyama, Toranaga’s death could not be approved. Ishido argued that they should impeach Sugiyama and find yet another new member for the council, which Ochiba refused because it would take too long.


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Instead, Ochiba commanded Ishido to solve the Sugiyama issue quickly. The Christian lord was ambushed by Ishido and his men while trying to leave Osaka. The official version is that Sugiyama was killed by bandits, but everyone in the country, including Toranaga, knows what happened. With Sugiyama dead, Ishido can find a new Regent who will agree to support Ochiba and will vote for Toranaga’s death. The council is now but symbolic considering Ochiba and Ishido will get anything they want approved – those who don’t support them will be “replaced.”

will have 10 episodes.

What Sugiyama’s Death Means For The Regents & Hostages In Osaka

Sugiyama’s death means Ishido and Ochiba control the council

Sugiyama’s death sends a message not only to the other Regents but also to every daimyo in the region regarding Ishido’s power and Ochiba-no-kata’s influence. Those who stand against the Heir’s mother will suffer the consequences, meaning Toranaga will not have many allies in Osaka. As noted by Toda Hiromatsu, even those loyal to Toranaga are being forced to change sides because of how powerful Ishido has grown inside his castle with the help of Ochiba. Sugiyama’s death also made Lord Toranaga change his mind about the Crimson Sky plan.



Real-Life Inspiration

Yoshii Toranaga

Hiroyuki Sanada

Tokugawa Ieyasu

John Blackthorne

Cosmo Jarvis

William Adams

Toda Mariko

Anna Sawai

Hosokawa Gracia

Kashigi Yabushige

Tadanobu Asano

Honda Masanobu

Kashigi Omi

Hiroto Kanai

Honda Masazumi

Ishido Kazunari

Takehiro Hira

Ishida Mitsunari


Fumi Nikaido


Toranaga originally refused to launch Crimson Sky, a plan consisting of a violent rush on Osaka that would conclude with the deposition of all Regents. The Lord of Kanto believed that it would be impossible for them to defeat Ishido in Osaka and stated he had no interest in becoming shogun. However, with Sugiyama dead, Toranaga now has no choice but to put this plan in motion. The only way to stop Ishido is to take over the Osaka castle and dissolve the council, which will not be easy. This sets up some action-packed final Shōgun episodes.

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Shogun 2024 Poster


Shogun is an FX original mini-series set in 17th Century Japan. Shogun follows John Blackthorne, who becomes a samurai warrior but is unknowingly a pawn in Yoshii Toranaga’s plan to become Shogun. The series stars Cosmo Jarvis as John Blackthorne and Hiroyuki Sanada as Yoshii Toranaga, along with Anna Sawai, Tadanobu Asano, and Yûki Kedôin.

Cosmo Jarvis , Hiroyuki Sanada , Anna Sawai , Tadanobu Asano , Yûki Kedôin


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