Wednesday, July 05, 2006

"Mr. Black" or "Wikipedia is crap"

Poking through the mess that is the articles related to Japanese history on Wikipedia, I came across Yasuke, the African slave taken into service by Oda Nobunaga. The article itself is full of false information and conjecture, going so far as to state that Yasuke was nicknamed Kuru-san. Unfortunately "Kuru-san" isn't even a word. The article claimed that "kuru" means "black" - it doesn't. That would be "Kuro". Also, the suffix ~san wasn't in use during that time in Japanese history. So I went ahead and added this:

Although popular unsubstantiated internet sources state that the nickname most commonly given to the African was "kuru-san" (erroneously explaining that "kuru" is Japanese for "black" and Kuru-san roughly translates as "Mr. Black-man"), This is most definately myth. The Japanese word for "black" is "kuro" rather than "kuru", and the suffix "~san" was not used during the sengoku period of Japanese history. The "~san" used in these internet sources were most likely made up, based either on modern Japanese, or from the erroneous use of "~san" in the very popular (and historically inaccurate) book "Shogun" by James Clavell.

We'll see how long it takes for the revisionist historians to remove that section.

1 comment:

  1. It's still there.
    Man, that sucks, I like using Wikipedia. Some things are just interesting to read about. I guess you just can't take it at face value, eh?!