Guide to the Saburo Shimono Papers

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.1379
Creators:
Shimono, Sab
Dates:
1948-2013
Languages:
English
Some materials in German and Japanese.
Physical Description:
15 Cubic feet
19 boxes, 1 map-folder
Repository:
Collection documents the career of Saburo "Sab" Shimono, an American actor of Japanese descent.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection documents Saburo Shimono, an American born actor of Japanese descent primarily through movie and theatre scripts for productions featuring Shimono.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is divided into five series.
Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1948-2013
Series 2: Scripts, 1962-2012
Series 3: Photographs, 1965-1986
Series 4: Posters, 1966-2010
Series 5: Audiovisual Materials, 1970-2009

Biographical
Biographical
Sab Shimono is an accomplished actor and voice performer with numerous television, film, and stage credits to his name and an important figure in Asian-American arts and culture. He was born on July 31, 1937, in Sacramento, California, to restaurant owners Masauchi Shimono and Edith Mary Otani Shimono. During World War II he and his family were incarcerated at the Sacramento Assembly Center, then at Tule Lake Segregation Center, California and Camp Amanche (also known as the Granada War Relocation Center) in Colorado. After graduating from Sacramento High School (where he was student body president) in 1956, Shimono went on to the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied acting under Henrietta Davis. His first professional theatre role was a summer stock production of Flower Drum Song where he played Wang Ta. In 1966 he debuted on Broadway as Ito in the original production of Mame starring Angela Lansbury and directed by Greg Saks. After working on a number of off-Broadway projects including multiple productions with La MaMa, Shimono returned to Broadway in 1976 as Manjiro in the original production of Stephen Sondheim's Pacific Overtures. In addition to the stage, he has appeared in numerous films including, Midway (1976), Gung Ho (1986), Presumed Innocent (1990), Hot Summer Winds (1991), Suture (1993), The Shadow (1994), Waterworld (1995), Paradise Road (1997), The Big Hit (1998), and Southland Tales (2006). He guest starred in many television shows, including 2 ½ Men, Friends, Seinfeld, M*A*S*H, Mad Men, and Hawaii, Five-0. He voiced the role of Uncle for five seasons on Fox's Jackie Chan Adventures, and was the voice of Chow Lo in Disney's Mulan. Shimono has worked extensively with a number of acclaimed Asian-American playwrights including Philip Kan Gotanda, Wakako Yamauchi, and Ken Narasaki. He has appeared in several plays or movies that reference the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans, including Alan Parker's Come See the Paradise(1990), Michael Uno's movie version of the Philip Kan Gotanda play The Wash (1988), and independent shorts Day of Independence (2003) and Half Kenneth (2009). Shimono also starred in a short film for the National Museum of American History's exhibition, A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution, which ran from 1987 to 2004. He has been honored on numerous occasions with awards for outstanding performance from the LA Weekly and Dramalogue, and received the 1975 Clio Award for Best Actor. Shimono has also been active in the push for LGBT equality, working extensively with a number of organizations dedicated to LGBT rights, particularly within the Asian-American Pacific Islander communities. He lives and works with his husband, Steve Alden Nelson, in Los Angeles, California.
Source
Densho Encyclopedia

Administration
Separated Materials
Related archival materials about Saburo Shimono's US Army service (1960-1964) and wood hand tools (1940s) from Tule Lake Camp, California and Camp Amanche (Granada War Relocation Center) in Colorado are held in the Division of Armed Forces History, National Museum of American History. See accession 2016.3049.
Author
Alison Oswald
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection donated by Saburo Shimono, May 2016.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Social Security numbers are present and have been rendered unreadable and redacted. Researchers may use the photocopies in the collection. The remainder of the collection has no restrictions.
Preferred Citation
Saburo Shimono Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Actors Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Theater programs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- Color prints -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japanese Americans Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Compact discs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Newspaper clippings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Videocassettes -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Black-and-white photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Movie scripts Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Television scripts Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
High school students -- California Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
School yearbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
School records Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives