Sab Shimono

In this Japanese name, the family name is Shimono.
Sab Shimono
Born Saburo Shimono
(1943-07-31) July 31, 1943
Sacramento, California, U.S.
Education University of California, Berkeley
Occupation Actor, Voice Actor
Years active 1966–present
Spouse(s) Steve Alden Nelson (m. 2008)

Sab Shimono (born Saburo Shimono; July 31, 1943) is an American actor of Japanese descent who has appeared in dozens of movies and television shows in character roles.

Early life

Shimono was born and raised in Sacramento, California,[1] to restaurant owners Masauchi Shimono and Edith Mary (née Otani).[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]

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 Theatre 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). 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 Saiko 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 can also be seen in Asian American independent films, The Sensei (2008), Americanese (2009) and Life Tastes Good (1999).

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 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.

Personal life

He 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 June 23, 2008.[4]


  1. 1 2 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: 52.
  4. "Sab & Steve". API Equality-LA. March 31, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2012.

External links

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