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Yoshio James Yoda (born March 31, 1934) is a Japanese actor and current United States citizen who played Takeo Fujiwara (Fujiwara Takeo in Japan, where the surname comes first) in the American television series McHale's Navy.
Yoshio James Yoda was born March 31, 1934 in Tokyo, Japan. He attended high school and studied law in Japan prior to studying at the University of Southern California in the late 1950s, earning a degree in cinema arts.
Yoda began his career in acting as Sgt. Roy Tada in the movie The Horizontal Lieutenant (1962). He is best known for his portrayal of Takeo Fujiwara in the television series McHale's Navy and in the 1964 movie McHale's Navy and its 1965 sequel McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force. In McHale's Navy Season 4, Episode 1, "War, Italian Style", it is thought that his character is given the full name 'Fujiwara Takeo Kobiashi'. In that episode Fuji learned from Nisei SSgt. George Kobiashi of the famous 442nd Nisei Combat Team (played by Lloyd Kino), that they were second cousins because Kobiashi was Fuji's mother's maiden name. There is a Japanese tradition, in which the husband takes the name of the bride, only in the case which the family has no male heirs, thereby saving the surname of the bride's family. After finishing McHale's Navy in 1966, Yoda appears to have had just one further role, in the 1969 segment of Love American Style titled Love and the Letter. He was associate producer for "The Walking Major", which was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 1971.
In the cast reunion extra feature on the McHale's Navy first season DVD set, Edson Stroll (Virgil in the series) stated that Yoda began primarily using his middle name of James and worked as a Toyota vice-president. He also reported that Yoda had secured his American citizenship. Yoda had lived in Honolulu, Hawaii for fifteen years, serving as vice president of marketing for Toyota in Hawaii, where he had become a United States citizen and was active in the Lions Club. Since 2012, Yoda has been living in Fullerton, California.
- "Friends and Neighbors" (PDF). Morningside Newsletter Vol 22, March 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- "Men taking their wives' last names is not uncommon in Japan". Makiko Itoh, March 2007. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
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