After taking on the roles of Jackie Robinson and James Brown, Chadwick Boseman will be starring as yet another Black historical figure. According to new reports, Boseman has signed on to portray Yasuke, the first African samurai in Japan.
“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.”
Yasuke arrived in Japan from Mozambique as a slave in 1579. He was amongst one of the first black men to ever set foot on Japanese soil. It was even suspected that he had colored himself with black paint and he was forced to strip his clothes and scrub himself “clean”. Yasuke, the first African man to swing a sword in Japan, served under Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga in 16th century Japan.
Erik Feig and Mike DeLuca will take the lead in production. Doug Miro, who co-created the series Narcos, is writing the script.