Writer Asks “Where Are The Black People?” in New ‘Shogun’ Samurai Series Set in Ancient Japan

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Image: @FXNetworks/X

FX recently released a new version of the wildly popular 1980s TV miniseries Shōgun.

Shōgun is based on a famous novel by James Clavell and is set in Japan in the 1600’s.

The network shares, “FX’s Shōgun, based on James Clavell’s bestselling novel, is set in Japan in the year 1600, at the dawn of a century-defining civil war. “Lord Yoshii Toranaga” (Hiroyuki Sanada) is fighting for his life as his enemies on the Council of Regents unite against him, when a mysterious European ship is found marooned in a nearby fishing village.”

However, at least one writer is concerned that the story of Japanese warriors is not “Black” enough.

William Spivey writes:

The 2024 version focuses far more on the Japanese perspective. The white characters appearing in the first episodes representing Portugal, Spain, England, and Holland could hardly be deemed heroic. However, the character John Blackthorne, now played by Cosmo Jarvis, is already a pivotal figure and will be a hero, along with several Japanese characters. Others are already praising the new 10-part series as a cultural sea change from the 1980 version. I ask the question now that I naively didn’t ask in 1980. Where are the Black people?

I don’t ask out of a desire to see representation when it wasn’t historically accurate. I inquire because there were Black people in Japan in 1600 and before, though Japan could teach Florida a thing or two about rewriting history. According to multiple sources, one of the early real-life Shoguns, Sakanoue no Tamuramaro (758–811), was Black, though denied by others. There is a consensus he was something other than pure Japanese, and he is often considered descended from the Ainu, the darker-skinned indigenous people of northern Japan who were subjected to forced assimilation and colonization.

Spivey also claims that a Japanese proverb says, “For a Samurai to be brave, he must have a bit of Black blood.” But when pushed, he could not provide a source.

One commenter on Spivey’s article shared, “As a black man my self, please stop embarrassing us writing stuff like this.  We do not have to be included in everything, especially when it does not make sense historically.  Articles like this make it hard for people to take us serious when we do ask for meaningful representation in media, and as you can see, everyone is laughing at us when articles like this get written.”

The post Writer Asks “Where Are The Black People?” in New ‘Shogun’ Samurai Series Set in Ancient Japan appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

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