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Japanese Were Sold As Slaves

Last updated on September 8, 2019

A look at Japan’s interaction with people of the African Diaspora during the 7th, 12th, 16th, 18th and 20th Centuries. Learn about Africans and Black Americans; African samurais, the first American to set foot in Japan, and also the influence of the Negro Leagues on Japanese baseball.

Additionally, after the Portuguese first made contact with Japan in 1543, a large scale slave trade developed in which Portuguese purchased Japanese as slaves in Japan and sold them to various locations overseas, including Portugal itself, throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Many documents mention the large slave trade along with protests against the enslavement of Japanese. Japanese slaves are believed to be the first of their nation to end up in Europe, and the Portuguese purchased large numbers of Japanese slave girls to bring to Portugal for sexual purposes, as noted by the Church in 1555. Sebastian of Portugal feared that this was having a negative effect on Catholic proselytization since the slave trade in Japanese was growing to massive proportions, so he commanded that it be banned in 1571. Check out the video for more!

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