“AFRO SAMURAI” WAS REAL!-SORT OF
“YASUKE” IS THE TRUE STORY OF THE ONLY AFRICAN SAMURAI
As strange as it may sound, there actually was an African samurai; and ONLY one African samurai. Now a film is being developed to tell his story and Chadwick Boseman will portray Yasuke.
The film is titled Yasuke and tells the story detailed in the book written by Thomas Lockley and Geoffrey Girard: African Samurai: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan. The description of the book more or less details what the film will be about:
“When Yasuke arrived in Japan in the late 1500s, he had already traveled much of the known world. Kidnapped as a child, he had ended up a servant and bodyguard to the head of the Jesuits in Asia, with whom he traversed India and China learning multiple languages as he went. His arrival in Kyoto, however, literally caused a riot. Most Japanese people had never seen an African man before, and many of them saw him as the embodiment of the black-skinned (in local tradition) Buddha. Among those who were drawn to his presence was Lord Nobunaga, head of the most powerful clan in Japan, who made Yasuke a samurai in his court. Soon, he was learning the traditions of Japan’s martial arts and ascending the upper echelons of Japanese society.”
The film’s scriptwriter Doug Miro (Narcos) had this to say about the plot:
“A native of Portuguese Mozambique, Yasuke was taken captive and brought to 16th-century Japan as a slave to Jesuit missionaries. The first black man to set foot on Japanese soil, Yasuke’s arrival arouses the interest of Oda Nobunaga, a ruthless warlord seeking to unite the fractured country under his banner. The script focuses on the complex relationship between the two men as Yasuke earns Nobunaga’s friendship, respect — and ultimately, the honor, swords and title of samurai.”
No other information is available but the inclusion of Chadwick Boseman is a great start. This story sounds incredible from a historical perspective and Boseman is a fantastic actor. He had some words about his inclusion as well:
“The legend of Yasuke is one of history’s best kept secrets, the only person of non-Asian origin to become a Samurai. That’s not just an action movie, that’s a cultural event, an exchange, and I am excited to be part of it.”
If you want to know more, the book African Samurai: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan is available now.