"African Samurai: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan"

May 13, 2019

Our guest is the British scholar Thomas Lockley, an Associate Professor at Nihon University College of Law in Tokyo, where he teaches courses related to the international and multicultural history of Japan and East Asia. He's also the co-author of a new biography titled "African Samurai: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan," which he tells about. The book offers the remarkable life of history's first foreign-born samurai...and his astonishing journey from Northeast Africa to the heights of Japanese society. That legendary figure is Yasuke, who first arrived in Japan in the late 1500s, and who remains an almost mythic figure. This never-before-told biography profiles a powerful and ever-imposing man whose travels between countries, cultures, and classes offers a new perspective on race in world history and a vivid portrait of life in medieval Japan. Per The Washington Post: "A readable, compassionate account of an extraordinary life."