"A readable, compassionate account of an extraordinary life." --The Washington Post
The remarkable life of history's first foreign-born samurai, and his astonishing journey from Northeast Africa to the heights of Japanese society.
Warrior. Samurai. Legend.
When Yasuke arrived in Japan in the late 1500s, he had already traversed much of the known world. Kidnapped as a child in Northeast Africa, he served as a bodyguard to the head of the Jesuits in Asia, traveling to India and China, and eventually arriving in Japan, where everything would change.
Most Japanese people had never seen an African man before. Some believed he was a god. Others saw him as the black-skinned Buddha.
Among those drawn to him was Lord Nobunaga, head of the most powerful clan in Japan, who made Yasuke a samurai in his court. Soon, Yasuke was learning the traditions of martial arts and ascending the upper echelons of Japanese society, where he would live on to become a legend for the centuries to come.
Thomas Lockley is an associate professor at Nihon University College of Law in Tokyo, where he teaches courses about the international and multicultural history of Japan and East Asia. He has published several dozen research papers and articles, including the first in the world regarding the life of Yasuke. At the time of writing, 2018, he was Visiting Scholar at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He and his family live in Chiba, Japan.
Geoffrey Girard is the author of more than a dozen books. Born in Germany and shaped in New Jersey, he currently teaches in Ohio. He was selected for a Writers of the Future prize in 2003, and his debut novel was nominated for a Stoker Award. He has an MFA from Miami University.