Yasuke: The African Samurai

There is a warrior inside of us all. A warrior is defined as a soldier or someone who is involved in a fight. Everyone is fighting their own battle, and sometimes it’s hard to be strong and prevail. I suggest, do as I and wear your battle gear. This gear doesn’t have to be full-blown armor. Maybe it’s a trinket you carry that you can easily pullout to calm the storm inside. Or perhaps it’s a memory of a time that you were the strongest and bravest you’ve ever been. For me, it was the Yasuke inspired armor. Yasuke was an African Samurai who arrived in Japan in 1579.

This post will feature a few facts about the legendary warrior, but the overall lesson I want everyone to take away from this post is that “Your inner warrior is always there. Life may cloud the fierceness that lives within you, but it’s there. You are designed to prevail!”

So, Who was Yasuke?
    • Well, there is little information on his life, but we do know that Yasuke was a man of African origin who served as a warrior for Oda Nobunaga, the feudal warrior in the 1500’s.
    • He was kidnapped as a child and was a victim of the slave trade. It is recorded that Yasuke arrived in Japan in 1579, and since most Japanese people had never seen an African man before, his arrival made a “scene”.
    • His height is recorded at over 6’0”, and his skin black as midnight.
    • He spoke Japanese and thrived in martial arts.
    • Little is known about his life after his capture in the 1580s. 

Click here for more on Yasuke, and here for more on the illustrations. 


Check out the behind the scenes of this Museum Monday.
I honestly didn’t know that this reenactment would release my warrior. I had so much confidence and pride when I put on that gear. Sometimes I forget how strong I am. I will reflect on this image and Yasuke whenever life tries to dim my warrior.
You are designed to prevail!


  • Matthew Miller

    The artist of the sculpture in the image you used is Nicola Roos.

  • Seimei-Handan

    More research must be done about historical existence of black people in Japan and in Asia. There are so much still left to be learned. Even in Asia history is mostly portrayed from the views of European and more authentical true asian history must be established by Asian. So much which truely make us to be wiser has been covered with dust of lies. Let us unfold the true history.

  • Doris Siedel

    True black history is sometimes hard to fine. Always glad to have the truth and looking forward to more and excited for the book

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