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Welcome to the Black History Buff Podcast - This episode is about the forgotten Black Samurai Yasuke. Find out who he was and how he gained the title Samurai.
There is a Japanese proverb which says “For a Samurai to be brave, he must have a bit of black blood.” Yasuke first appears in history in 1579 as an attendant of the Jesuit missionary Alessandro Valignano coming to Japan to visit the missions that had been set up there. Yasuke was around 24 or 25 years old, towered over the Japanese at 6‑foot‑2
His celebrity status soon piqued the curiosity of Oda Nobunaga, a medieval Japanese warlord.
Nobunaga apparently was sceptical that Yasuke’s black skin was genuine and had him remove his shirt and rub his skin to show that it wasn’t ink. Nobunaga was impressed by Yasuke’s height. He is recorded to have been over 6 feet (182cm) tall in an era where most Japanese men were closer to 5 feet (152 cm) tall.
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Cover art by @black_history_buff_777
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