In Shōgun Episode 6 “Ladies of the Willow World,” Toranaga and his inner circle plan to launch a top-secret mission known as Crimson Sky to take over Osaka and defeat his enemies. However, the plan is risky as Toranaga does not have enough troops after an earthquake and has lost political support. His only hope lies in convincing his half-brother Saeki Nobutatsu to join his cause. The episode ends with Toranaga officially declaring Crimson Sky, marking a last-ditch effort at survival as his enemies, led by Ishido, are eliminating anyone who does not submit to their authority.

Crimson Sky is the code word used to describe Toranaga’s plan to engage in total war with his adversaries. It signifies a final push towards taking over Osaka and becoming the Shōgun, a powerful warlord in Japan. In the book version of Shōgun, the concept of Crimson Sky involves a more sophisticated plan that includes sparking insurrections in various territories and attacking multiple targets. If Toranaga is killed, his surviving inner circle will immediately instigate Crimson Sky. It means that Toranaga is going all in and there is no turning back.

In the FX adaptation of Shōgun, Crimson Sky is presented as a desperate attempt by Toranaga to regain his political standing and defeat his enemies who are gradually eroding his power. As the story unfolds, it becomes evident that Toranaga’s only chance of success lies in securing the support of his half-brother and using his armies to cover his rear while he marches towards Osaka. The plan involves risking everything, with the clear understanding that there will be bloodshed and no room for negotiation or retreat.

The original novel presents the concept of Crimson Sky early on, describing it as a highly secretive plan known only to a select few close to Toranaga. This version of Crimson Sky involves not only a direct assault on Osaka but also coordinated attacks on various targets through loyalists strategically placed across Japan. It is a comprehensive strategy meant to ensure the survival of Toranaga’s legacy even in the event of his demise. The stakes are high, and the outcome of Crimson Sky will determine the future of Toranaga and his allies.

Overall, Crimson Sky symbolizes the decisive moment in Toranaga’s journey where he must risk everything to achieve his ultimate goal of becoming the Shōgun and consolidating power in Japan. The plan represents a culmination of strategic planning, political maneuvering, and military action aimed at securing Toranaga’s position in the face of formidable opposition. With his enemies closing in and betrayals mounting, Toranaga’s success in executing Crimson Sky will hinge on his ability to rally allies, outmaneuver his foes, and emerge victorious in a high-stakes game of power and influence.

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