**(Amy Hill) Suji, the Japanese-American woman working for a national tabloid
paper called The Inquistor. On episode "The Seer & the Sucker, she first meets
an odd, nerdy lover of Asian women named Leo and by episode "The Neighbors of
Bath" she ultimately fall in love with him. Suji was introduced during the third
season in 1997.
**(Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) Lt. A. J. Shimamura, a streetwise Japanese-America
police detective who assisted a white police detective named Nash Bridges and
his Mexican-American partner at the Special Investigators Unit in San Francisco
during the 1996-97 season.
*(Noriyuki Pat Morita) Ohara, a mild-mannered Japanese-American who worked as a
detective for the Los Angeles police department. Called the "Un-cop", Ohara
shunned firearms, didn't drive and spouted philosophical sayings like "a flea
makes life harder for a Jackass than a Jackass for a flea". Brain over brawn was
his motto but when necessary he used his proficiency in martial arts to subdue
the bad guys. Later in the series, Ohara left the force to become a private
investigator along with a fellow police detective.
*(B. D. Wong) Father Ray Makuda, Japanese-American prison chaplain who serviced
the convicted criminals in Cell Block 5, the experimental unit known as "Emerald
City at the Oswald Maximum Security Prison. He was assisted by Latino Sister
Peter Marie (Rita Moreno), a hard-working counselor and spiritual advisor. Wong'
other television appearances include Stuart Kim, the Goody Two-shoes older
Korean cardiologist brother Margaret Kim on the the sitcom ALL AMERICAN
GIRL/ABC/1994-95. Wong was born and raised in San Francisco.
*(Mitsuyo "Mie" Nemoto, Keko "Kei" Masuda) Known as "Pink Lady", these two
female Japanese rock singers were introduced to American television via this
comedy variety hour. Mie & Kei may have been popular in Japan, but their U.S.
debut quickly fizzled out. One reason the series disappeared: the stars spoke
very little English and had to be guided through the program sketches by
American comedian Jeff Altman. You may remember their rock record "Kiss Me In
**(Yasuko Nagazumi) Suki, a Japanese housekeeper for London based special
investigator Harry Rule, one of three criminal detectives known as "The
THE QUEEN AND I/CBS/1969
**(Noriyuki Pat Morita) Barney, an Oriental-American crewman aboard the
Amsterdam Queen a travel-weary ocean liner whose owners had decided to sell it
for scrap metal.
*(Robert Ito/costar) Sam Fujiyama, Japanese-American medical assistant to Dr. R.
Quincy, medical examiner for the Los Angeles Coroners Office. The series was
inspired by the exploits of Dr. Thomas Noguchi, former L.A. Coroner who
investigated the deaths of Marilyn Monroe and John Belushi among others. He was
often called "Coroner to the Stars."
RAGS TO RICHES/NBC/1987-88
**(Kimiko Gelman) Rose, one of five orphaned girls adopted by Nick Foley, a West
Coast self-made millionaire who lived in a Bel Air mansion with an aging but hip
English butler during the days of 1961. Rose's mother was a Japanese-American
imprisoned in an American concentration camp during World War II. While interned
she fell in love with an U.S. Army soldier and became pregnant. When the baby's
father shipped out, Rose's grandfather gave the baby (Rose) up for adoption.
Disheartened, the next day Rose's mother walked in front of a moving train.
*(Jeffrey Meeks) Jonathan Raven, a former special forces agent pursued by a clan
of ninja warriors. The program's opening narration summarized the storyline
"Jonathan Raven as an American boy being raised in Japan until his parents were
killed by assassins. To avenge their death, he joined the Black Dragons, the
very organization that murdered his parents. Now in Hawaii, with the help of his
old military buddy Ski, he is searching for the son he has never seen." Before
leaving Japan, Raven had a liaison with a woman named Aki Moshirho. The union
bore a son named Hikatti meaning “Sparkling Light.”
**(Cartoon Character) Kira Finster (Voice of Julia Kato), the Asian bride of
Caucasian American Charles “Chazz” Finster, Sr.. Kira met and married Charles as
the result of a vacation [The Rugrats in Paris movie 2000]. She is the single
mother of daughter, Kimi (voice of Dionne Quan) who became the new sister of
two-year-old Chuckie Finster.
**(Kim Miyori) Dr. Wendy Armstrong, Japanese-American medical resident working
at Boston's St. Eligius Hospital (a.k.a. "St. Elsewhere"). During the 1982-84
season, Dr. Armstrong's character was written out of the series via suicide
brought on by her demanding hospital responsibilities and her depression over
her anorexia nervosa problem.
**(Harold Sakata) Kenji Takichi, a rectory cook and athletic coach for the
parish of St. Aloysius in San Diego. His boss, Father Samuel Cavanaugh was a
former cop turned priest. Perhaps, Harold Sakata's most memorable role was that
of the evil enemy agent "Oddjob" in the James Bond spy thriller Goldfinger
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE/NBC/1975+
*(John Belushi/costar) Samurai Warrior, a grunting Japanese Samurai with a
ponytail and kimono in skits like "Samurai Tailor," "Samurai Night Fever" and
"Samurai Hotel." Sid Caesar was the first to do a wild takeoff of a Samurai in
the 1950s when he spoofed Japanese films in a sketch called "Ubetchu."
**(Byron Chung) Kuroda, Japanese Probe Control agent responsible for monitoring
fellow Probe agents on assignment fitted with sophisticated super-miniaturized
transmitter/receiver surveillance devices.
*(Toshiro Mifune/costar) Toranaga, a powerful warlord who lived in feudal Japan
in the 1600s. Also featured are Yoko Shimada as Lady Mariko, who interpreted for
a shipwrecked English navigator named John Blackthorne (referred to as “Anjin-san”);
Frankie Sabai as Yabu; and Nobuo Kaneko as Ishido, Toranaga’s nemesis. The
five-part, twelve hour miniseries is based on James Clavell’s epic novel of the
same name. See also section on CHINESE - “Noble House”
**(George Takei) Hikaru Sulu, a highly efficient Chief Helmsman of Japanese
descent stationed aboard the USS Enterprise, a futuristic starship whose
mission was to "...seek out new life...to boldly go where no man has gone
before." Born in San Francisco in 2237, Sulu's hobbies included collecting old
Earth style weapons, fencing and botany. He later assumed command of the
Starship Excelsior in the year 2290. In real life George Takei spent part of
WWII in a Japanese internment camp.
STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE/SYN/1993-99
**(Rosalind Chao) Keiko Ishikawa O'Brien, a botanist of Japanese descent who
transferred to space station Deep Space Nine in 2369 when her husband, Miles
O'Brien was promoted to Chief of Operations. Hanna Hatae played their young
daughter, Molly who was born on the USS Enterprise-D in 2368. Also seen were
Keone Young as Buck Bokai, a holographic image of Asian shortstop for the London
Kings who came to life on the episode 16 "If Wishes Were Horses" first aired in
1993. Buck was one of baseball's greatest players. He broke Joe DiMaggio's
record for consecutive hits in 2026 and hit the winning home run in the 2042
STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE/UPN/2001-2005
**(Linda Park) Lt. Hoshi Sato, a beautiful Asian female of Japanese descent
serving on board the futuristic starship USS Enterprise NX - 01. Ensign
Hoshi is a talented linguist. She is in her mid to late 20s, intelligent,
spirited and was chosen by commander Archer to act as the crew's communications
officer and ship's Translator. An expert in exo-linguistics, she learned to
manipulate her vocal chords to emit a range of alien sounds no human has ever
produced. Her only gripe with her starship assignment is being trapped in a "tin
can" [the starship] that is traveling through space at extreme velocity. Every
time the ship jumps to warp, a jittery Hoshi grabs her console and closes her
eyes. Hoshi reluctantly gave up her teaching job after being convinced by Archer
to join Starfleet. She is one of two women working the Enterprise bridge. Her
competition is female Vulcan science officer T'Pol with whom Hoshi shares a
sparring relationship. On episode No. 3 "Fight or Flight" Hoshi demonstrates her
abilities as a linguist by communicating with an alien species, thus proving her
worth and confirming a desire to remain a member of the crew. Note: Linda Park
was born 1978 in Korea and raised in San Jose, California. She studied acting at
Boston University where she received a B.F.A. She is also a Bronze Level
International Latin Ballroom Dancer and a certified actor combatant by the
Society of American Fight Directors. Park has also appeared on the high school
comedy/drama Popular as Anna Lin in episode "FAG" and in the role of Hannah in
Jurassic Park III (2001).
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/SYN/1987-94
**(Rosalind Chao) Keiko Ishikawa O'Brien, a Starfleet botanist of Japanese
descent who married Miles O'Brien, the transporter chief aboard the starship USS
Enterprise-D. Also featured were Patti Yatsutake as Nurse Alyssa Ogawa, a member
of the Enterprise-D medical staff; Benjamin W. S. Lum as Jim Shimoda, an
assistant chief engineer featured on episode No. 3 "The Naked Now"; Robert Ito
as Tac Officer Chang in charge of Starfleet Academy examinations on the episode
No. 19 "Coming of Age"; and Keone Young as Buck Bokai (a.k.a. Harmon Bokai), one
of professional baseball's greatest player who broke Joe DiMaggio's record for
consecutive hits in the year 2026 as mentioned on episode No. 13 "The Big
Goodbye." The Bokai character was integrated into a holographic program used by
the African-American commander Benjamin Sisko to play baseball on board the
Enterprise on episode No. 14 "The Storyteller,"; and his holographic image came
to life and escaped the confines of his holographic programming on episode No.
16 "If Wishes Were Horses."
TOM OF T.H.U.M.B/ABC/1966-69
*(Cartoon character) Swinging Jack, an Asian janitor who was accidentally shrunk
(with his co-worker Tom) by a miniaturization ray gun thus creating T.H.U.M.B
(The Tiny Human Underground Military Bureau) the government secret service
enlisted them to fight crime. Swinging Jack was proficient in the martial arts.
TOUR OF DUTY/CBS/1987-90
**(Steve Akakoshi) Pvt. Randy "Doc" Matsuda, a Japanese-American Army soldier
assigned as a medic during the Vietnam War in 1967. His character died in action
during the 1987-88 season. The program also featured a number of oriental actors
who portrayed the many Vietnamese soldiers, peasants etc. This series was the
first series to actually address the issues of the Vietnam War during prime time
21 JUMP STREET/FOX/1987-90
*(Dustin Nguyen/costar) Harry Truman "H. T." Ioki, a young Japanese-American
police officer (with iratic driving skills) who was assigned to an elite squad
of baby-faced cops posing as high school students to battle juvenile crime. (A
sort of MOD SQUAD of the 1980's.) His parents moved to the U.S.A. after World
War II. Once Ioki commented he was "named after the guy who dropped an atom bomb
on my house". He learned to speak English by watching old DRAGNET reruns and
once thought a "Stake-out" was what you did to get a "Sirloin-to-go." Later in
the series (12/20/87 episode) it was revealed that Ioki was actually a
Vietnamese refugee. In real life Nguyen had escaped Saigon in 1975 by boat to
Guam and later arrived in the U.S.A. His character was in many ways
**(Suzy Nakamura) Kathy, an Asian Aide to the Deputy Communications Director,
the presidential advisor at the White House during the Bartlet Administration.
Earlier in her career Nakamura appeared in a recurring role as a smart-mouthed
lawyer on the short-lived (4 episodes) legal sitcom COMMON LAW/ABC/1996.
Other Programs of Interest
MR. NISSAN (TV Commercial)
a mysterious man with the terrier dog, glasses, baseball cap and a big grin
featured on a series of Nissan automobile TV commercials in 1997. The mystic Mr.
Nissan character was based on the former Nissan president Yutaka Katayama who
reportedly represented "honor, integrity and fun." The 60-ish actor Dale
Ishimoto who played Mr. Nissan was born in Delta, Colorado and served as a
veteran of the US Army. Before playing Mr. Nissan, Ishimoto's acting credits
included parts on MCHALE'S NAVY, KUNG FU and other TV commercials.
N - Z
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