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samurai

Yasuke, the Black Samurai

Japan is not a place one would usually associate with immigrants from Africa or the Caribbean. Yet in the late 16th century Japan’s most powerful warlord, Oda Nobunaga, had a black page who served as his bodyguard and was granted the prestigious rank of Samurai. Keep Reading

Japan & African Americans from the Russo-Japanese War to Pearl Harbor

I had the pleasure of viewing Mr. Ben Karp’s presentation at the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies, Temple University in Japan on the Golden Era of Black and Japanese relations. He discusses W.E. Du Bois’ travels to Japan and provides insights to a period considered a peak of Black – Japanese relations. Additionally, Mr. Karp had… Keep Reading

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Kunoichi

Everyone is probably familiar with the word ninja but not many have heard of kunoichi, the female ninja. The term is thought to derive from the names of characters that resemble the three strokes in the kanji character for woman (女, onna); said in the order they are written: ku (く) – no (ノ) –ichi (一). Zen offers something he learned about kunoichi in Japan. I… Keep Reading

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