James Saito

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James Saito
James Saito 2.png
in Drizzle by Sung Rno
James Tomio Saito

(1955-03-06) March 6, 1955 (age 65)
Years active1976-present

James Tomio Saito (born March 6, 1955) is a Japanese-American actor of stage, motion pictures, and television.


He is known for his physical portrayal of The Shredder in the 1990 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; the character was voiced by David McCharen.[1] Saito also appeared in films like The Devil's Advocate, Home Alone 3, Pearl Harbor, and Die Hard with a Vengeance. His TV credits include M*A*S*H, MacGyver, Law & Order, Miami Vice and Sex and the City.[2]

In 2008, he played Tokugawa Ieyasu in Shogun, as part of the BBC's Heroes and Villains series, (focusing on historical people who have attracted polarized opinion, in modern day, or by their contemporaries.) It is probably the role he is best known for to British Audiences, his performance as "the Julius Caesar of Japan" (Hideyoshi is considered the Napoleon) was well received by audiences.

Saito has appeared in numerous stage productions, with early career work at the Asian-American theatre company East West Players in Los Angeles. On Broadway he has appeared in The King and I, and David Henry Hwang's Golden Child. He won an Obie Award in 2007 for his performance in Julia Cho's Durango at The Public Theater in New York City.[3]

In 2015, Saito appeared in a new play, The World of Extreme Happiness, by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, in a co-production with the Goodman Theatre at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City.

Saito starred in the regular supporting role of Dr. Chen in the ABC drama Eli Stone.[4]

In February 2019, it was announced that Saito was cast in the main role of Tanaseda Hideki for the second season of Netflix's science-fiction series, Altered Carbon.[5]


Film roles
Year Title Role Notes
1980 The Idolmaker Eddie
1984 Hot Dog…The Movie Kendo
1984 The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension Masado Banzai, Buckaroo's Father Scenes deleted
1987 Beyond the Next Mountain Sniper
1989 Mortal Sins Park Sung
1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles The Shredder Voiced by David McCharen
1993 Silent Cries Japanese Soldier
1995 The Hunted Nemura
1995 Die Hard with a Vengeance Korean Proprietor
1997 Henry Fool Mr. Deng
1997 The Devil's Advocate Takaori Osumi
1997 Home Alone 3 Chinese Mob Boss
1999 The Thomas Crown Affair Paul Cheng
2000 Useless Executive Oki Short film
2000 Aloha James Short film
2001 Pearl Harbor Japanese Aide #1
2001 Love the Hard Way Akiri
2001 Another Bed Bruce Short film
2003 Robot Stories Roy / Groper
2006 Brother's Shadow Line Boss
2007 I Think I Love My Wife Mr. Yuni
2007 Ghosts of the Heartland John Lu
2012 Life of Pi Older Insurance Investigator
2013 From the Rough Won-Sik
2014 While We're Young Dr. Nagato
2014 Big Eyes Judge
2017 Wilson Warren Kudo
2017 The Only Living Boy in New York James
2019 Long Shot Minister Kishido
2019 Always Be My Maybe Harry
2020 Tigertail Hank
Television roles
Year Title Role Notes
1976 Farewell to Manzanar Richard Wakatsuki TV Movie
1976 Baa Baa Black Sheep Third commando Episode: "Up for Grabs"
1977 Ensign Kira Episode: "Divine Wind"
1977 M*A*S*H South Korean Episode: "Comrades in Arms" Pt.1/Pt.2
1978 The Paper Chase Kai Episode: "Bell's in Love"
1978 M*A*S*H Korean Soldier Episode: "Dear Comrade"
1979 The Paper Chase Student #1 Episode: "The Apprentice"
1979 Lou Grant Steve Nakajima Episode: "Hype"
1980 Enola Gay: The Men, the Mission, the Atomic Bomb Lieutenant Tatsuo Yamato TV Movie
1980 The Golden Moment: An Olympic Love Story TV Movie
1981 The Waltons Japanese Sergeant Episode: "The Last Ten Days"
1981 Soap Hiro 1 episode
1981 The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo Steven Chiu Episode: "The Roller Disco Karate Kaper"
1981 The Two Lives of Carol Letner Professor TV Movie
1981 The Incredible Hulk Viet Interpreter Episode: "Viet"
1981 M*A*S*H Park Episode: "Communication Breakdown"
1981 The Fall Guy Police Officer Episode: "Japanese Connection"
1981 Bosom Buddies The Man Episode: "All You Need Is Love"
1982 The Greatest American Hero Kelly Kim Episode: "The Hand-Painted Thai"
1982 Tales of the Gold Monkey Japanese Lieutenant Episode: "Once a Tiger..."
1983 The Renegades Sam Chow Episode: "On the Pad"
1983 Girls of the White Orchid Officer #1 TV Movie; alternative title Death Ride to Osaka
1983-1984 Knots Landing Reporter 2 episodes
1984 Hart to Hart Yamahiro Episode: "The Dog Who Knew Too Much"
1984 Scarecrow and Mrs. King Ronnie Quan Episode: "The Mole"
1984 T.J. Hooker Lab Technician Episode: "Hot Property"
1984 Charles in Charge Chinese Food Delivery Man Episode: "Pilot"
1985 Street Hawk Joe Ching Episode: "Chinatown Memories"
1985 Covenant Cabbie TV Movie
1985 MacGyver Ming Episode: "The Golden Triangle"
1985 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Anesthesiologist #1 Episode: "Night Fever"
1985 Crazy Like a Fox Chinese Henchman Episode: "Year of the Fox"
1985 Miami Vice Howie Wong Episode: "Golden Triangle: Part 2"
1986 Blood & Orchids Halehone TV Movie
1986 The Young and the Restless Roy Namaguchi 2 episodes
1986 The A-Team Kwai Li Episode: "The Say U.N.C.L.E. Affair"
1987 Hill Street Blues Bob Ashahina Episode: "Days of Swine and Roses"
1987 Airwolf Tim Shimizu Episode: "X-Virus"
1988 Miami Vice Ma Sek Episode: "Heart of Night"
1988 C.A.T. Squad: Python Wolf TV Movie
1988 War and Remembrance Operations Officer (Yamato) TV Miniseries; Episode: "Part 3"
1989 Gideon Oliver Johnny Chen Episode: "Tongs"
1990 Counterstrike General Loctuck Episode: "Power Play
1990 Top Cops Johnny Kai Episode: "Paul LeBoeuf/Johnny Kai"
1990 True Blue Episode: "Chinatown"
1992 To Be the Best Tony Chiu TV Movie
1994 Law & Order Mr. Tanaka Episode: "Scoundrels"
1994-1995 New York Undercover Detective Chang 2 episodes
1995 Star Trek: Voyager Nogami Episode: "The 37s"
1996 Gargoyles Taro (voice) Episode: "Bushido"
1996 The Tomorrow Man Dr. Lorechi TV Movie
1999 Sex and the City Korean Man Episode: "Ex and the City"
2000 Strangers with Candy Drug Tester Episode: "Blank Relay"
2000 Law & Order Yoshi Yoshimura Episode: "Dissonance"
2001 100 Centre Street 2 episodes
2001 The Atlantis Conspiracy Police Officer TV Movie
2002 Third Watch Sgt. Yee Episode: "The Long Guns"
2004 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Mr. Miyazaki Episode: "Great Barrier"
2005 Starved Captain Wong Episode: "Thank You, I Love You"
2006 As the World Turns Kano Yamamoto 2 episodes
2008 Heroes and Villains Ieyasu Tokugawa Episode: "Shogun"
2008-2009 Eli Stone Dr. Frank Chen Main cast
2009 The Unit Chu Episode: "Chaos Theory"
2010 Rubicon Mooney Episode: "The Truth Will Out"
2010 Blue Bloods Dennis Eng Episode: "Chinatown"
2011 Too Big to Fail Chinese Official TV Movie
2011 One Life to Live Judge Lee 9 episodes
2012 30 Rock Chef Episode: "Leap Day"
2012 Person of Interest Glen Episode: "Bury the Lede"
2013 Hawaii Five-0 David Toriyama Episode: "Ho'onani Makuakane"
2014 Madam Secretary Japanese Foreign Minister Shimbakura Episode: "Just Another Normal Day"
2016 House of Cards Dr. Krebs Episode: "Chapter 50"
2017 The Deuce Kim 2 episodes
2018 Paterno Doctor TV Movie
2018 Instinct Haru Onishi Episode: "Heartless"
2018 Marvel's Iron Fist Yu-Ti Episode: "The City's Not for Burning"
2018 Elementary Dr. Kumal Wazir Episode: "The Visions of Norman P. Horowitz"
2019 Modern Love Kenji Inouuye Episode: "The Race Grows Sweeter"
2019 Prodigal Son Dr. Higa Episode: "The Surgeon"
2020 Altered Carbon Tanaseda Hideki Main role (season 2)
2020 Grey's Anatomy Hershel Roberts Episode: "Sing It Again"


  1. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)". IMDb. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  2. ^ "James Saito". Miami Vice Community. February 23, 2014.
  3. ^ "2006-2007 Obie Award Winners". Village Voice. May 15, 2007.
  4. ^ "Eli Stone: Cast". TV Guide. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  5. ^ Hibberd, James (February 22, 2019). "Altered Carbon reveals new season 2 replacement cast". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 23, 2019.

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