English actors were hired for the entire six months that production was going to take. It was not possible to do the same with the Japanese actors, especially Toshirô Mifune, so during filming there was a constant negotiation about his availability when necessary to meet the shooting schedule. Apparently, at some points, negotiations became very tight and tense.
Pilot-Major John Blackthorne:
Captain Yoshinaka was right to search him. Was that your idea?
Lady Toda Buntaro - Mariko: Please excuse me, but I was afraid for you.
Pilot-Major John Blackthorne: Sad, isn't it? Not being able to trust anyone.
Lady Toda Buntaro - Mariko: It is not sad, Anjin-san. It is just one of life's most important rules.
Anjin-san receives a flintlock pistol as a gift from Lord Toranaga. Flintlock pistols were not in wide use until 1630, thirty years after the show's setting. The wheel lock and match lock pistols and muskets, also used in the show, are correct. Additionally, the Europeans were reluctant to export the latest firearms to Japan, preferring to keep the superior weaponry to themselves.
The 1987 UK CIC video featured the shorter edited version and was cut by 10 secs by the BBFC to remove footage of Japanese throwing stars, and the same edits were maintained for the 1994 box set video release. DVD releases are uncut and feature the full original version.