FACT CHECK: Image Claims To Show Black Samurai

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on X claims to show a black samurai and his family.

Verdict: False

The image was created by artificial intelligence. At least one black person was arguably a samurai during the 1500s.

Fact Check:

Social media users are sharing an image of a black man and presumably his children in samurai and Japanese attire, claiming it shows a “black Samurai in Japan.”

This image, though, is not real. Check Your Fact ran the image through Hive Moderation, a tool that detects content created by artificial intelligence. The tool found it was 99.9% likely the image was generated by artificial intelligence.

Screenshot/Hive Moderation

Fake History Hunter, an X account debunks historical inaccuracies, addressed the claim in an April 1 post.

“This is [an] AI creation. An African called Yasuke was in Japan but it is unclear if he was a samurai, sources call him a 小姓 (koshō ), a page or sword bearer/retainer,” the account tweeted. (RELATED: Does This Image Show Taylor Swift With A ‘Trump Won’ Flag?)

An African man named Yasuke has been described as a samurai by several sources, such as Britannica and Smithsonian Magazine, and fought for Japanese daimyo and samurai Oda Nobunaga in the early 1580s. It is disputed if he was actually a samurai, though, according to Fake History Hunter.

There were several hundred Africans living in Japan during Yasuke’s time, according to Smithsonian Magazine. Natalia Doan, a historian with the University of Oxford, told Smithsonian Magazine that they “worked as interpreters, soldiers, entertainers” among other roles.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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