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There was at least one black samurai warrior. Yasuke arrived in Japan in 1579 with an Italian Jesuit, and chose to stay. He later served as a samurai and as the weapon bearer of Oda Nobunaga, one of the unifiers of Japan.

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Experts disagree about whether Yasuke was enslaved prior to his time in Japan:

From the latest issue of BBC World Histories: read about Yasuke, an African samurai in 16th-century Japan

Yasuke was not only the first African they had seen but was, by Japanese measures, a ‘giant’ – 188cm tall – good looking, intelligent and entertaining, with the strength of 10 men…”

How an African man named Yasuke became Japan’s first foreign-born samurai (via @BBCNews )

After playing Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman has officially agreed to play Yasuke, a native of Portuguese Mozambique and the first African and only person of non-Asian origin to become a Samurai. Yasuke served under Oda Nobunaga, a warlord, in 16th century Japan (via Deadline)

'African Samurai': The story of Yasuke — black samurai and warlord's confidant

'African Samurai': The story of Yasuke — black samurai and warlord's confidant

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Chadwick Boseman To Play African Samurai ‘Yasuke’ In Deal With Picturestart, De Luca Productions, Solipsist & X●ception Content

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"Black Panther" star Chadwick Boseman has been cast in a story set in the 16th century as "Yasuke, the first African samurai to swing a sword in Japan"

"Black Panther" star Chadwick Boseman will play the first historical samurai warrior of non-Asian descent, reports . The movie is based on the story of Yasuke, a Mozambican man who was trained by a warlord after arriving in 16th century feudal Japan.

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Who's ready to see Chadwick Boseman play the first African samurai in the upcoming film "Yasuke"? 🙋🏽‍♀️

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