The remarkable true-story of this African man was told to me today - so I did a little research digging:
You may have already heard of this person - but its news to me!
His name is written in traditional Chinese characters but pronounced in the Japanese language - which was typical for the 16th century Japanese culture of the day
彌 (mi1) (Ya) = a 'long distance', to 'stop' or 'put down' and 'to relax a drawn bow'
助 (zhu4) (Suke) = to 'help', 'aid' and 'assist'
Therefore '彌助' ('Mizhu' or 'Yasuke' could mean the 'tall' person, the 'martial' person (as in possessing good 'self-control') or the person from 'far-away' - who is an 'able' and good 'retainer'.
'Yasuke (b.1556-d.?) was a Retainer (Samurai) of the Daimyo known as - Oda Nobunaga - during the Warring States Period in Japan. Yasuke is famous as being the first 'African' (Black) warrior in Japanese history.'
One story I read in Chinese language sources talks of the troops of Oda Nobunaga attacking an area controlled by Ninja Clans. As can be expected - the fighting was ferocious with the Ninjas fighting very much like the Vietcong and causing all kinds of enemy casualties through ingenious and under-hand methods! At one point in the fighting - Yasuke - is ambushed whilst alone by a group of Ninja warriors, but he draws his katana shouting 'My Lord is invincible!' - and proceeds to advance and carve his way through his assailants! However, soon he is completely surrounded and in a desperate position! At this point Lord Oda Nobunaga himself arrives on the scene with his warriors and after seeing Yasuke holding-off dozens of living Ninjas (as well as piles of dead Ninja bodies) he orders his immediate rescue!
Shifu Adrian Chan-Wyles (b. 1967) - Lineage (Generational) Inheritor of the Ch'an Dao Hakka Gongfu System.