Complaints about Yasuke in Assassin’s Creed Shadows are unfounded

A disgruntled group has started a poll against Yasuke in Assassin’s Creed Shadows. According to Ralph, Ubisoft’s choice is not “disrespectful” at all.

A few years ago, Ubisoft finally announced that it would release a long-awaited wish. It then became clear that Assassin’s Creed Codename Red was in the works, a new part of the series set in feudal Japan at the end of the 16th century.

Earlier this year the game was actually revealed. Not only with a new name – Assassin’s Creed Shadows – but also with the reveal of the two protagonists: Yasuke and Naoe. However, not all players are happy about it.
The petition started two weeks ago. Change.org By Shimizu Toru. He and the people who signed the petition — which currently stands at over 75,000 — are demanding that Ubisoft immediately cancel the game and “show respect for Japanese history and culture.” According to the organizer, the developer is guilty of “Asian racism” and the game is not historically accurate.

Exaggerated criticism of Yasuke

Let me first say that everyone is entitled to their opinion. Of course, you may feel that Ubisoft would have used an Asian samurai in Assassin’s Creed Shadows, instead of a character of African descent.

But some “fans” go too far in criticizing Ubisoft and the choice of Yasuke. First, let’s discuss historical accuracy. According to the petition, the game is inaccurate because Yasuke could never have been a samurai. The truth is, there is no evidence of this. There is very little to be found about the man behind the legend.

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All we know about Yasuke is that he came to Japan as a servant to a missionary and then met Oda Nobunaga, the most powerful man in Japan at the time. Nobunaga was so impressed by the African giant that he hired Yasuke as a servant and gave him a sword.

Although never referred to as samurai, soldiers who served as armed retainers of the daimyo—with the rank of Oda Nobunaga—were considered samurai in the Sengoku period. This is precisely the role of yasuke. The petition cites Williams Adams, the first samurai of European descent, but he attained this rank during the Edo period, when the role and title of samurai changed dramatically.

Additionally, historical accuracy has never been something the Assassin’s Creed series has excelled at. Countless things have happened in the games that are unbelievable and have never been described in historical texts. For Assassin’s Creed Shadows to be suddenly cancelled for this reason is just too much.

Who is racist?

Additionally, according to the petition, the use of Yasuke is racist towards Asians. Since the announcement, some “fans” have said that Ubisoft is being racist towards Japanese people, because there is finally a game set in feudal Japan, but there are no Japanese samurai.

First, players have the option to play as Naoe, a Japanese shinobi, and second, a notable number of games have been released in recent years that are set in Japan. In Ghost of Tsushima, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and Rise of the Ronin, you can all live out the dream of fighting a Japanese samurai.

Additionally, there have also been Japanese studios that have produced games starring samurai of a different origin. Is Team Ninja racist because you play as an Irish samurai in Nioh? Why does Ubisoft hold itself to different standards than Japanese studios?

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Then there’s Yasuke’s popularity in Japan. Assassin’s Creed Shadows certainly isn’t the first form of media to feature the character. Books, manga, plays, and films have been produced about Yasuke. In fact, the aforementioned Nioh also features an African samurai. If a certain group of people really want to complain, they should probably do a little more research first.

Winton Frazier

 "Amateur web lover. Incurable travel nerd. Beer evangelist. Thinker. Internet expert. Explorer. Gamer."

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