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African Samurai

The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan
Narrated by: Gary Furlong
Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (67 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Warrior. Samurai. Legend.

The remarkable life of history’s first foreign-born samurai and his astonishing journey from Northeast Africa to the heights of Japanese society.

When Yasuke arrived in Japan in the late 1500s, he had already traveled much of the known world. Kidnapped as a child, he had ended up a servant and bodyguard to the head of the Jesuits in Asia, with whom he traversed India and China, learning multiple languages as he went. His arrival in Kyoto, however, literally caused a riot. Most Japanese people had never seen an African man before, and many of them saw him as the embodiment of the black-skinned (in local tradition) Buddha. Among those who were drawn to his presence was Lord Nobunaga, head of the most powerful clan in Japan, who made Yasuke a samurai in his court. Soon, he was learning the traditions of Japan’s martial arts and ascending the upper echelons of Japanese society.

In the 400 years since, Yasuke has been known in Japan largely as a legendary, perhaps mythical figure. Now, African Samurai presents the never-before-told biography of this unique figure of the 16th century, one whose travels between countries, cultures, and classes offers a new perspective on race in world history and a vivid portrait of life in medieval Japan.

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.  

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Thomas Lockley and Geoffrey Girard (P)2019 Harlequin Enterprises, Limited

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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A good yarn...

A good yarn of unknown history. A little thin on certain details, though i know this was a long long time ago. Also great details that I didn't know about early japan.

Solid narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A must listen!

If you love Japan and love little known history this book is for you. A well crafted tale pieced together to expand an already facinating period of Japanese history.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Not worth finishing

When I got this book I’d hoped that it would be a historically based novel about Yasuke. Instead it is filled with lore and history of the christian (Protestant and Catholic) attempt to convert Japan. As there is little information about 弥助 Yasuke the title is misleading. I returned the book and hope to find a better researched one in the future.

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excellent performance

I wish there was more factual information about Yasuke. but the writer did a fantastic job filling in.

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Learned so much!

I had no idea there was an African samurai and learning that there was I had to hear about it right away. I took every chance I could get to listen to more of this story. I hope that more people will learn about this amazing figure in Japanese and African history.

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This is history

This should be taught in every classroom as black history that was once forgotten but is now found.