According to ancient history dating back to 1555–1590, there was a retainer of African origin who served under the Japanese hegemon and warlord Oda Nobunaga in 1581 and 1582.
In a book titled Histoire Ecclesiastique Des Isles Et Royaumes Du Japon, written by François Solier of the Society of Jesus in 1627, Yasuke was likely from Mozambique.
However, other accounts disagree. Thomas Lockley argued that Yasuke was a Habshi from Ethiopia. Other scholars believe that Yasuke was Dinka from South Sudan.
Records reveal that he was famous for his height and extremely dark skin color.
Yasuke was met with astonishment, as he was the first black person that most Japanese had ever seen. He quickly became Nobunga's bodyguard before climbing the ranks to become one of Japan's most celebrated warriors.
In 2017, it was announced that a film on Yasuke, the world's first black samurai would be going into production. After much speculation, we finally learned that none other than Chadwick Boseman will play the role of the historical warrior.
The Black Panther’ star, Chadwick Boseman will produce and star as Japan’s first African samurai in the historical film, which will be titled ‘Yasuke’.
You will recall that Boseman gained global recognition after his role in the Marvel blockbuster movie, Black Panther where he starred as T’Challa.
Speaking on the movie, Boseman said, “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.”
The screenplay of the movie will be written by ‘Narcos’ co-creator Doug Miro and will be produced by Erik Feig’s recently unveiled company, Picturestart.
Michael De Luca and his De Luca Productions Company, Stephen L’Heureux and his Solipsist banner, and Boseman and Logan Coles’ Xception Content will co-produce.
Are you looking forward to the movie?
Header Image Credit: Den of Geek