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Representation matters and actor Chadwick Boseman has displayed this time and time again through the narratives that he brings to life on the big screen. For his next project, the South Carolina-bred actor will take on the role of the first African samurai, Deadline reported.

The film, titled Yasuke, will capture the unsung journey of a 16th-century samurai who hailed from Portuguese Mozambique. Yasuke—who was uprooted from his homeland and forced into slavery—is believed to be the first Black man to enter Japan. The movie chronicles the cultivation of a friendship between him and a warlord named Oda Nobunaga. After building a friendship Nobunaga honored Yasuke with the samurai title; one of the highest honors in Japanese culture.

Doug Miro will serve as a writer for the film and it is being produced by Mike De Luca, Stephen L’Heureux, Logan Coles and Boseman. Boseman is excited to use his artistry as an avenue to bring Yasuke’s story to the forefront. “The legend of Yasuke is one of history’s best kept secrets, the only person of non-Asian origin to become a Samurai,” he said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “That’s not just an action movie, that’s a cultural event, an exchange, and I am excited to be part of it.” There is no word on when the film is slated to be released.

There have been a few efforts to shed light on Yasuke’s story through pieces of literature and a Netflix anime series produced and directed by LeSean Thomas featuring the voice of Lakeith Stanfield.


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