Yasuke Kurosan – The Black Samurai
An Afrofuturistic story of the slave who became a samurai.

From a life of servitude to a life of meaning and pride. Smaïl Kanouté is a visual artist, dancer and choreographer living in Paris. In his work The Black Samurai, he explores the legend of Yasuke Kurosan – a slave from Mozambique who arrived in Japan in 1579 and became the first black man to be made a samurai. Using both Afrofuturistic and documentary stylistic devices, Smaïl Kanouté creates a captivating hybrid between African and Japanese dance and combat traditions, where history and the future exist side by side.

The piece was originally made as a short film, and is presented in the Afrika Pågår-room during the whole duration of the festival.

On the 11th of May, Smaïl Kanouté will embody Yasuke Kurosan in a live performance with the Japanese Pavilion at Etnografiska Museet as a background. Afterwards, the audience will be invited to a Q+A with the artist and to watch the screening of the film.

With the support of the French Institute in Sweden

Performance credits

Choreography and interpretation: Smaïl Kanouté
Music: Julien Villa
Light design: Smaïl Kanouté
Production: Compagnie Vivons
With the support of: Montévideo de Marseille – Festival Actoral

Film Credits

Film Direction: Smaïl Kanouté and Abdou Diouri
Producers: MEP (Musée Européenne de la Photographie), DGCA (Délégation à la danse du ministère de la culture française), Compagnie vivons
Partners: Centquatre, Ateliers Médicis, Watertight Graffiti – Antonin Fourneau, Nobuyuki Kishi (Modern Ryokan Kishi-ke)
Artists (dance): Katie Sachiko Scott, Sasuke Yaen, Zuma Ichi, Umihei Hayamizu, Khalife Kissa Kashiwakura
Director of Photography: Abdou Diouri
Screenwriter: Smaïl Kanouté
Edit: Hakim Hayashi and Kevin Gay
Music composer: Paul Lajus
Colour grading: Hakim Hayashi
Sound mixer: Batiste Darsoulant
Body – painter: Lorella Disez / Miaoutoo
Voice, translation, calligraphy: Hakim Hayashi
Coordinator: Mizuki Poirier
Assistant coordinator: Kisumi Niwano
Clemenina de Jesus, Tia Doca & Geraldo Filme – « Canto IX » / 1982
Paul Lajus – « YASUKE bounce (Limiter_comp) » / 2020
IAM – « Omotesando (Instrumental of Yasuke DIgipack Edition 2020)
IAM – « Yasuke (Instrumental of Yasuke DIgipack Edition 2020)
Toshiko Yonekawa – « Sakura Sakura » 1973



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Yasuke Kurosan – The Black Samurai

11 May, 2022 at 18.00-19.40

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