Today’s Friday Feature is a true Japanese American pioneer. James Shigeta, a sansei who was born in Hawaii in 1933, is one of the first Japanese actors to be cast as a romantic lead in Hollywood movies. You may have seen him in the Oscar-nominated musical Flower Drum Song, Bridge to the Sun or, for the younger viewers out there, Die Hard. Prior to his film career, which began in 1959, Shigeta was also a best selling recording artist in Japan.
Here’s a film tribute to Shigeta, which was featured at the 2006 San Francisco Asian American Film Festival: