Chadwick Boseman Will Draw Swords As Yasuke, History's First Black Samurai

From Wakanda king to samurai warrior, Chadwick Boseman has landed another ass-kicking ceremonial role. Deadline reports he'll play history's first known African samurai, Yasuke, in an upcoming film from Narcos writer Doug Miro.

“The legend of Yasuke is one of history’s best-kept secrets, the only person of non-Asian origin to become a Samurai,” Boseman said. “That’s not just an action movie, that’s a cultural event, an exchange, and I am excited to be part of it.”

Sounds like he's trying to turn this into the next Black Panther. Hey, he's got the cred to do it.

Yasuke is a fascinating figure, although to be fair it's not certain he actually attained the title of samurai. It's assumed he did, however, because he was given the duties and accessories of a samurai by 16th-century Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga.  It's assumed Yasuke was the first African to ever step on Japanese soil, arriving as an indentured servant to Jesuit missionaries. Nobunaga saw Yasuke and believed his black skin to have been colored in ink, and asked him to strip down and scrub. Afterwards, Nobunaga was intrigued by his look and physicality. At some point after that, possibly as an offer from the missionaries, Yasuke went to work for Nobunaga. He was given his own residence, a katana blade, the task of weapons bearer, and was treated with great respect by the Japanese people.  He also fought alongside Nobunaga and was there at his final defeat and death. In all, Yasuke's time as a samurai may have lasted but a single year.

This could be an amazing movie, and I think Boseman is right to highlighting this fascinating piece of African history that sounds like something out of a comic book.