Set in the eighteenth century, it showed fictitious events in the life of Yoshimune, the eighth Tokugawa shogun. The program started in 1978 under the title Yoshimune Hyobanki: Abarenbo Shogun. After a few seasons, they shortened the first two words and ran for two decades under the shorter title until the series ended in 2003; a two-hour special aired in 2004. The earliest scripts occasionally wove stories around historic events such as the establishment of firefighting companies of commoners in Edo, but eventually the series adopted a routine of strictly fiction. Along with Zenigata Heiji and Mito Kōmon, it ranks among the longest-running series in the jidaigeki genre. Like so many other jidaigeki, it falls in the category of kanzen-chōaku, loosely, "rewarding good and punishing evil."