In the late 1500s an African slave – and servant/bodyguard to Jesuit missionaries traversing Asia – set foot in Japan.
The history that followed would catapult that man to the ranks of myth and legend. And give him the famous name, Yasuke!
Made a samurai in the court of the powerful Lord Nobunaga, Yasuke would go on to see aspects of Japanese life and culture that no other foreigner would ever be privy to, and go down in history as the first foreign-born samurai. (Tom Cruise eat your heart out).
Yasuke’s life, and the immersion process that made him an indelible part of Japanese history, is the inspiration behind my Free (as in liberty and beer) School of Japanese and my Full Yasuke! Japanese language textbook and guide to teaching immersion Japanese.
In our Benfii series “Lessons from Yasuke” we’ll talk about the extraordinary history of this man’s life and lessons (language lessons and other lessons) we can draw from it.