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Rafu Shimpo: Senior Asian American actors losing out

James SaitoAsian American actor Chris Tashima knew he didn’t like something about the special episode of Hawaii Five-O centered around a 70 year old murder at a Japanese incarceration camp.

In a blog published in Rafu Shimpo, he finally figured out why he didn’t.

The part of 70 plus old David Toriyama was played by a very capable James Saito.(pictured)

The 59-year old actor did an outstanding job handling the tense raw emotions of his character.

Tashima doesn’t disagree with that. What he does disagree with is denying the opportunity for a veteran senior Asian American actor.

Tashima wrote:

I saw no reason, no creative justification, why Jim, who is probably 25 years too young and had to get heavy old-age makeup, was cast instead an actual senior actor. It’s especially disappointing, knowing many actual age-appropriate Nisei actors that could have played that role. That should have.

Tashima compares this to yellowface casting. You can read why in Rafu Shimpo.






  1. from @christashima via Twitter RE Senior Asian American actors losing out: H5-0 Toriyama character was about 10yo in Honouliuli, which would make Jim's character around 80, not "70 plus"

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