• Yasuke (African Samurai)

  • The Life and Legend of Japan’s First African Samurai
  • By: Jeff Taylor
  • Narrated by: Judah Paul Andrews
  • Length: 1 hr and 46 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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Yasuke (African Samurai)

By: Jeff Taylor
Narrated by: Judah Paul Andrews
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Publisher's Summary

Brought to Japan in the 16th century by Portuguese traders, he was the first person of African origin who became an instant celebrity. Rumored to be about seven feet tall and possessing the strength of 10 men, he garnered the attention of the famed warlord Oda Nobunaga. He served his master diligently through many battle victories. He is most famously associated with the title of African Samurai. This is the story of Yasuke.

Not much is known about Yasuke. From the historical accounts that are available, we know that, despite his intimidating demeanor, he was a gentle person. This was the first impression Nobunaga had of him when he first saw him surrounded by a large curious crowd in Kyoto. Being taken to immediately, he frequently accompanied the warlord and even dined with him personally, which was a rare occurrence at the time.

Come and meet the legendary non-Japanese figure in Japanese history. This wonderful book will help you acquire unique insights into Yasuke's life and times.

©2020 Aspen Creek Publishing (P)2020 Aspen Creek Publishing

What listeners say about Yasuke (African Samurai)

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Not likely Accurate

I gave this book a one star because of the extensive inaccuracies By author Jeff Taylor and Judah Paul Taylor.

I challenge the scholarship in this book. The author positions this book as historical fact while admitting that there is no way that he can confirm if the African Samurai Yasuke was ever a slave or servant to anyone.

I must share that there is historical fact that black men and women have traversed both the sea and the terrain as cultural ambassadors, religious organizers, and thlught leaders long before the time of Yasuke. I find this to be true in both Asia and on the island nation of Japan.

There are other Western scholars asserting the same thing about Yasuke being merely a slave. Yasuke is depicted as some sort of circus attraction who happened to pick up a sword, was uncommonly tall, spoke some cool Japanese words, and strong solely because he had previously been working laborous tasks as a servant.

Not only is Yasuke being a slave inaccurate, this inaccuracey is being told as the truth which limits a true heroe's contribution to the world, leaving no room for any of today's youth to see a hero who come from structured societies.

Yasuke was allegedly from Mozambique a place known for it's religious, scholastic, and economic prowess.

Furthermore, word slave was used at least two dozen times. For Jeff and Judah to choose to "believe" Yasuke was some Spanish trader's slave was also a choice not to do proper research, it was also a choice not to see Yasuke as the autonomous, intellectual, and gifted explorer that he was who (like many other skilled African men and women who circumnavigated our globe long before Columbus and Volollano;

African men and women who have made verifiable contributions to Asia, Europe, and the Pacific Islands alike made Japan's history more rich and secure to this day.

Samurai philosophy tends to represent honor. I see no honor in choosing not to detail Yasuke's true contribution to Japan. I know this is a reasonable reasonablerebuttal as I recall that explorer Marco Polo is held in tremendously high regard for his heroic contributions to Asia's culture with limited proof of endless of his achievements as a martial artist and Mongolian war hero, yet still set as historical fact.

Yasuke was a man. He was intelligent, he was a leader, and had influence that resounds throughout the nation of Japan until this day. Yasuke was above average than the men and women of today. He was not some circus attraction. He was not some slave turned celebrity. Yasuke was an African Samurai.

2 people found this helpful

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Informative

It was informative about Samurai code and life style but the lack of information about the main character made the content repetitive. I hunger for more info on Yasuke, I couldn't connect to him, which is unfortunately the story of Africans in history throughout the world. we are just back drop, Important enough to be seen but not actually identified as a individual piece of our surroundings.

2 people found this helpful

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Good Read!

I've always been Interested in the Sengoku Period. Interesting read this was. I strongly recommend

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Snippet-turned-book

Overall this read/listened like an encyclopedia snippet fluffed and stretched beyond what the sources could really support. A valiant effort has been made to do such and this book provides a decent introduction to 16th century Japan; however, at times Yasuke is very much a secondary figure to a broad overview of social and political backstory.

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Good story

It was very informative however it got to be very repetitive in various areas of the book.

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Wonderful Story

A piece of Black/African history that is missing. This is a wonderful story. Great read.

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  • Screen Touch
  • 10-28-20

Informative and factual

Really solid listen. Touches on the origins of Yasuke, how he met Nobunaga his time with him and Sengoku Japan in context. It's a short listen because it's very straight to the point and only keeps relevant information. I recommend it highly!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Trevor
  • 05-22-22

brilliant for children and all ages

VERY interesting my children loved it. We would recommend it to lots of people.