The developer of Assassin's Creed Shadows explained to the Japanese why the dark-skinned samurai became the protagonist

by alex

Ubisoft is known for interesting creative visions, but in the case of Assassin's Creed Shadows, everything has reached a new level

Ubisoft recently presented a full trailer for Assassin's Creed Shadows. Players will be transported to the long-awaited setting – Japan, but this announcement does not cause much joy yet, but rather everything is quite the opposite.

The fact is that at the center of the story of Assassin's Creed Shadows there will be not only a female ninja, but also another “specific” protagonist – Ubisoft introduced a dark-skinned male samurai Yasuke.

Although dark-skinned Yasuke is not a fiction – there really was such a person in Japan at one time, but many do not agree with his status as a “samurai”. A noticeable “seething” began on the Internet – Ubisoft began to be actively criticized, including by the Japanese, for cultural appropriation.

In a conversation with Japanese Famitsu, creative director Jonathan Dumont explained why one character is original (Naoe is fictional) and the second is a historical figure (Yasuke is real).

It turns out that such a “non-Japanese” character allows developers (and therefore players) to explore Japan:

«Even if it is well known in Japan, at least At least in North America, the history of the farmers, what happened to them and where the shinobi came from are not very well known.

Therefore, we decided to introduce into the game a character from [province] Iga, who is shrouded in mystery. We considered historical figures from the region, but we preferred a sense of mystery, so we came up with [girl] Naoe as a person who may or may not actually exist.

As for Yasuke, we decided from the very beginning that a story about the arrival of the Portuguese would be a very good way to talk about the crisis in Japan. The team liked Yasuke's character and decided that we could count on him to [explore] Japan.

We thought that if we started with a samurai who was already [integrated] into Japanese society, he would be a very interesting and intriguing character….And there would be interesting to see what happened to him. He starts out as a character who is already entrenched in the story, and as you learn what happens to him, it piques your curiosity“.

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Cover author: Ubisoft. Image source:

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