Sab Shimono (born July 31, 1937) is a Japanese–American actor and voice actor who has appeared in dozens of movies and television shows in character roles.

Sab Shimono
Saburo Shimono

(1937-07-31) July 31, 1937 (age 82)
EducationUniversity of California, Berkeley
OccupationActor, voice actor
Years active1966–present
Steve Alden Nelson (m. 2008)

Early lifeEdit

Shimono was born and raised in Sacramento, California,[1] to restaurant owners Edith Mary (née Otani) and Masauchi Shimono.[2] He has one sibling: Dr. Jiro Shimono, director of the Delaware Psychiatric Center.

During World War II, Shimono and his family were interned at the Tule Lake War Relocation Center and the Granada War Relocation Center.[3][4]

He attended Sacramento High School and graduated from University of California, Berkeley.[1]


An accomplished stage actor, he has appeared on Broadway and in regional theaters including San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater and Berkeley Repertory Theatre. He was cast as Ito opposite Angela Lansbury's Auntie Mame in Jerry Herman's Broadway musical hit Mame in 1966. This was followed by Lovely Ladies, Kind Gentlemen (1970), The Chickencoop Chinaman (1972), Ride the Winds (1974), and the role of Manjiro in Stephen Sondheim & Harold Prince's Pacific Overtures (1976) – he would go on to play Lord Abe in the 2004 Broadway revival. He was in the short lived 1978 musical Barbary Coast. In 2010, he appeared in the world premiere of No-No Boy by Ken Narasaki based on the novel by John Okada.

His more memorable film roles include Saito in the 1986 comedy Gung Ho, Hiroshi Kawamura in the 1990 drama Come See the Paradise, the coroner "Painless" Kumagai in 1990's Presumed Innocent, Dr. Max Shinoda in 1993's Suture, Lord Norinaga in 1993's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, and in Old Dogs, alongside John Travolta and Robin Williams, as Japanese billionaire Yoshiro Nishamura. He played Dr. Tam in the 1994 film The Shadow. He can also be seen in Asian American independent films Americanese (2006), The Sensei (2008) and Life Tastes Good (1999). Shimono performed the voice of Subotai in the 1982 film Conan the Barbarian.[5]

On television, he starred on the 2008 ABC family miniseries Samurai Girl. Then Shimono provided the voices of antique-shop owner/Chi Wizard Uncle Chan on the television series Jackie Chan Adventures, the elderly version of the Emperor (Jack's father) on Samurai Jack, Airbending Master Monk Gyatso and Master Yu on the popular series Avatar: The Last Airbender, Mister Sparkle ("In Marge We Trust") and Master Sushi Chef ("One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish") on The Simpsons and Mr. Murakami on 2012's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. He also appeared in Royal Pains, season 3 episode "But There's a Catch", as Jono the gardener. In 2007, he appeared in the episode "Don't Worry, Speed Racer" on Two and a Half Men. In 1991 he had a role in the TV movie/pilot Plymouth, which at the time was considered to be one of the most expensive such movies ever made.

He also had several appearances in the television show M*A*S*H.

Shimono also appeared in "The Checks," the 141st episode of the sitcom Seinfeld.

Shimono is a cohost of APM Reports podcast Order 9066. He also tells his personal story in the episode titled "Sab Shimono Remembers Camp".

Personal lifeEdit

Shimono has been in a relationship with writer Steve Alden Nelson since 2001. The couple registered their domestic partnership in April 2005 and married in San Diego on June 23, 2008.[6]

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ a b Ballard, Gary (February 14, 2011). "Sab Shimono Adds Wrinkles to a Prolific Resume". LA Stage Times. Retrieved July 20, 2013. Born and reared in Sacramento, Shimono first tasted public acclaim through a political forum, when he won the election for student body president of Sacramento High School.
  2. ^ Sab Shimono Biography (1943-) at
  3. ^ Wada, Karen (June 2005). "Camp Revival: Two new productions explore the still-controversial topic of Japanese American internment". Los Angeles Magazine. p. 52.
  4. ^ "Japanese American Internee Data File: Saburo Shimono". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  5. ^ Sammon, Paul (September 2007). Conan the Phenomenon: The Legacy of Robert E. Howard's Fantasy Icon. Oregon, United States: Dark Horse Books. ISBN 1-59307-653-3.
  6. ^ "Sab & Steve". API Equality-LA. March 31, 2011. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2012.

External linksEdit