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Netflix’s “Yasuke” Stars Lakeith Stanfield as First Black Samurai

Among the many amazing lives chronicled in the history of feudal Japan, few are as interesting (and rarely detailed) as the first black Samurai. Netflix brings to life the story of “Yasuke,” an African warrior who travelled to Japan to become personal retainer and confidant to the most storied feudal lord to ever live, Oda Nobunaga.

While little is known of Yasuke’s life before he came to Japan and entered the service of Nobunaga. It’s known that that the infamous Daimyo took a deep personal interest in the African warrior, intrigued by the darkness of skin, his significant talent for martial combat, and his thoughtful personality. Depicted in historical art of the time, bearer of a ceremonial Katana from the Daimyo himself, and said to be present in person at the death of Nobunaga, the man called Yasuke is a fascinating historical mystery.

The story of the mysterious Black Samurai will be explored in an original Anime series “Yasuke” coming this week to Netflix.

Created by LeSean Thomas (“Cannon Busters“) and starring Oscar Nominee Lakeith Stanfield (“Get Out,” “Judas and the Black Messiah“) in the titular role of Yasuke, the series explores the life of the historical warrior and his adventures in Japan as he protects a mysterious child caught between a war of rival daimyos. Combined with a whirlwind of fantastical elements like magic, mechs and monsters, “Yasuke” promises a tale of feudal Japan never seen before.


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In a war-torn feudal Japan filled with mechs and magic, the greatest ronin never known, Yasuke, struggles to maintain a peaceful existence after a past life of violence. But when a local village becomes the center of social upheaval between warring daimyo, Yasuke must take up his sword and transport a mysterious child who is the target of dark forces and bloodthirsty warlords.


Also starring Takehiro Hira as Nobunaga, Maya Tanida as Saki, Ming-Na Wen as Natsumaru, “Yasuke” hits Netflix on April 29th, 2021.

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