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IPFS News Link • Entertainment: Television (TV)

Writer Ridiculed For Asking "Where Are The Black People?" In Ancient Japan Samurai Show

•, by Steve Watson

The show, produced by FX, is a remake of the popular Sh?gun series from 1980, which also featured no black actors.

Because it's about ancient Japan.

The network's guide to the series states "FX's Sh?gun, 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."

There are European people in the series too, because Europeans travelled to Japan in boats at that time.

Japanese and Europeans, but no blacks? Medium writer and critical race theorist William Spivey cannot abide that.

He writes "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."

Oh no! the horror.

" I ask the question now that I naively didn't ask in 1980. Where are the Black people?" he adds.

In Africa, that's the short answer. But no, Spivey isn't done. He goes on to claim that there absolutely were black people in Japan in 1600 and some of them were Samurai warriors.

"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," he claims.

Spivey continues, "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."