Assassin’s Creed: Shadows is set to release later this year. The newest Assassin’s Creed installment is based in feudal Japan and one of the main characters is a historical samurai named Yasuke. Let’s talk Yasuke in the game and in a historical context

Who Was Yasuke?

What we actually know about Yasuke is very limited. We know that he was originally from Africa and is one of the first Africans to ever be recorded in Japanese historical documents. He came to Japan in 1579 and is only officially confirmed to have been there from 1579 to 1582.

We don’t know where in Africa he’s from, though it’s highly speculated that he was Ethiopian or Nigerian. According to historical texts, it’s speculated that he was around the age of 26 or 27. He had been serving as a bodyguard throughout his time in Japan and was said to have incredible strength that had never been seen before.

He was named a samurai by Lord Nobunaga, the first foreigner to ever be named a samurai. Back then, that title and rank were given to warriors that served under higher ranked warriors, or lords. They were not volunteers but rather employed by these lords or warriors.

By the time Yasuke was hired by Nobunaga, he was among thousands of samurais under that particular lord’s employ.

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In 1582, enemies began to close in on Yasuke and the samurais that were protecting Nobunaga. Yasuke, Nobunaga, and another samurai called Ranmaru, fled together once they got ambushed. In order to preserve honor, and because it seemed they would be captured and/or killed, Ranmaru beheaded Nobunaga, then told Yasuke to behead him as well.

This was discussed and agreed upon by the three men.

Afterwards, Yasuke fled, taking Nobunaga’s head with him so their enemy wouldn’t have proof of death and therefore; no glory.

We are completely unsure of what happened to Yasuke after this point. There are many speculations, but none of them can actually be verified through historical cross reference or documentation. The only thing we know for sure is that he was not executed by the enemies, meaning that he could have lived. Although, it’s also speculated that he was badly injured after the ambush.

Essentially we’re unsure if Yasuke lived or died (prematurely, of course).

Who Is Yasuke In Assassin’s Creed Shadows?

The game devs at Ubisoft have said that the lack of knowledge that we have historically about Yasuke hasn’t impeded their storytelling, and what we do know about him has been incorporated into his story. His arrival in Japan in 1579 aligned with the timeline that they wanted to explore in Shadows.

The fictional Yasuke follows his real inspiration’s footsteps, working for Nobunaga as a samurai. He eventually ends up destroying the village of our other protagonist; Noae.

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Even though this happened, and for reasons that are mostly unclear right now, the two end up working together to destroy their common enemies and gather information to achieve their shared goals.

When Does Assassin’s Creed: Shadows Release?

Assassin’s Creed: Shadows is set to release on November 12th 2024. It will be playable on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Windows, and MacOS. It’s available to preorder on all of those platforms as well.

Are you looking forward to Shadows? Are you looking forward to playing as Yasuke or Noae?

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