Black Panther Actor To Star As First Black Samurai In Upcoming Historical Action Film
Written by Seth Smith on December 6, 2019
In 2017 it was announced that a film on Yasuke, the world’s first black samurai would soon go into production. After much anticipation, it was revealed that none other than Chadwick Boseman will star as the historical warrior.
Yasuke is believed to have lived during the 1500s, and historical accounts state that he could have been from Angola, Ethiopia or Mozambique, though many details about his life remain a mystery. It is known, however, that he worked under the Japanese ruler Oda Nobunaga, who gave him the name “Yasuke” according to Shadow and Act. There is no account of his birth name.
A brief but not concluded historical and journalistic research suggests that, a 2013 investigation by the light entertainment television program Discovery of the World’s Mysteries (世界ふしぎ発見) suggested that Yasuke was a Makua named Yasufe. This name seems to be derived from the more popular Mozambican name, Issufo. This was not a highly journalistic investigation and the program provided little proof for their conclusions. The Makua did not have any significant contact with the Portuguese based in Mozambique until 1585. He may have been a member of the Yao people, or from the further inland area of Mozambique. Yao people were just coming into contact with the Portuguese at the time, which might account for his name, Yao, added to the common Japanese male name suffix of suke (Yao-suke).
Okay Africa also reported that upon arriving in Japan in the late 14th century, Yasuke was met with astonishment, as he was the first black person that most Japanese had ever seen. He quickly became Nobunga’s body guard before climbing the ranks to become one of Japan’s most celebrated warriors.
“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,” said Boseman.
Boseman is an obvious choice for the role, as he always nails playing black heroes—both historical and fictitious. from being a Marvel’s Black Panther and also playing the likes of Thurgood Marshall and Jackie Robinson in the past.