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6 Little-Known Facts About Yasuke, the All-Powerful Black Samurai of Feudal Japan

He Was an Enslaved African Soldier Given Into the Care of an Italian Missionary
The origins of Yasuke are shrouded in mystery, but historians believe the African soldier was born in 1555 in what was then Portuguese Mozambique. He was reportedly sold into slavery following the fall of Abysinnian Bengal, an African kingdom ruled by Ethiopians. Yasuke soon found himself in the care of Italian Jesuit missionary Alessandro Valignano, who asked that the Black man accompany him on a mission trip to Japan.

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