At Smithsonian Magazine, Jacquelyne Germaine writes about Yasuke, Japan’s first Black samurai. “Though the Netflix series introduces several mystical elements—including giant flying robots, magical armies and weaponized laser beams—the broad strokes of its depiction of the Honnoji Incident are historically accurate. Yasuke was an African warrior in the employ of Nobunaga, a powerful feudal lord known as the ‘Great Unifier,’ during Japan’s Sengoku period. The first Black samurai, he was at Nobunaga’s side when the daimyo died; according to popular lore, Nobunaga tasked Yasuke with returning his head to his son.
Beyond his relationship with the famous warlord, Yasuke was a barrier-breaking figure in his own right. Though his life is poorly documented, his story speaks to the surprising cultural connections that existed in 16th-century Japan.”
Read more here.
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