How A Legendary Black Samurai Became an Anti-Imperialist Icon

It’s a story some of you may know, it’s been told over and over in different forms. A gaijin, an outsider, comes to Japan and ingratiates themselves with the local military power. From James Clavell’s Shogun, to a bad Tom Cruise movie, to William Adams, it’s a story told over and over in both Japan and the West. Some of those stories have a kernel of truth and few are as fascinating as that of Yasuke—a Samurai born in Africa.  


Here to help us unravel the mystery and history of this legendary Samurai is Thomas Lockley. Lockley is a professor at Nihon University College in Tokyo and a visiting scholar at the University of London. Along with Geoffrey Girard, Lockley is the author of the book African SamuraI: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan.


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