is where you can learn about the talented actors who breathed life
into the characters of The Karate Kid Part
II. In this section of the site we list the actors who were
only in the sequel. For the original cast [Including Ralph Macchio
and Pat Morita] go here.
The Cast of The Karate Kid Part II
File: Yuji Okumoto Born
A lean and well conditioned six-footer, actor Yuji Okumoto has
the good looks, style and talent to have been a major leading man on screen,
but in The Karate Kid Part II, his physical stature served him equally well
as Chozen, the Okinawan bully who is the nephew of Sato. His hateful characterisation
of chosen is particularly excellent as he squares off against Daniel, played
by Ralph Macchio.
one of the great things about acting, you get to experience things you might
never do in real life. In this case, I get to see the world as a totally
In spite of his Japanese first name, Okumoto was born and bred in Los Angeles.
"My parents just chose to put my Japanese name before my English name, Don."
And the swaggering menace he has about him as Chozen probably owes less to his
karate training (he was a brown belt at the time) than to his experience in
He was educated at Hollywood High School (where he played both baseball and
basketball) and Cal State Fullerton, where he first took up acting. Okumoto
had been involved with several theater companies, including the celebrated East
West Players, where he appeared in "Pacific Overtures" and "The Teahouse of
the August Moon.''
also found time for numerous television appearances, including an episode of
"T.J. Hooker," and roles in two motion pictures, "Real Genius" and
"Hanauma Bay", in which he plays a spirited surfer.
the roie in "The Karate Kid Part II" a challenging one. "It is actually
a complex character", he explains, "and though on the surface he appears
very headstrong, deep down he's very insecure and scared."
final fight with Daniel is a combination of frustration and honor. That's
why he takes it so seriously and probably why he can't win."
Clearly Okumoto was able to draw on both his martial arts training and his acting
experience when, as the leader ot a gang of Okinawan toughs, he kicks, shoves
and punches Macchio.
Despite the fact that he is known as a very nice guy, Chozen was a role that
he clearly relished, and the type of portrayal that could easily have propelled
him to overnight stardom.
Sadly though, despite his utterly convincing portrayal as Chozen, Okumoto was
to have many more second string roles throughout the 80's and 90's and was passed
over for any high profile leading roles. Notable appearances include a hotel
manager in the Micheal Douglas thriller "The Game" and as a Japanese
technician at the pod launch in the sci-fi smash hit "Contact".
File: Danny Kamekona
One-half Hawaiian, one-quarter Chinese and one-quarter Japanese, actor Danny
Kamekona was a perfect representative of modern-day Hawaii's cosmopolitan mix
He explained, with an incredible irony, that he can rightfully assume the name
of the villain, Sato, he portrays in "The Karate Kid II"
"My paternal grandfather was Tokujiro Sato" explained Kamekona, a longtime Honolulu
resident who began acting with a small role on the popular TV series, "Hawaii
Five-0", "and he was
one of the Gannenmono, the first group of Japanese immigrants to arrive in Hawaii
in 1868. Like the others, he made a life for himself in the Islands, marrying
a Hawaiian woman named Kamekona".
The rest of the story is that, for an Island society unfamiliar with Japanese
names, his grandfather shortened Tokujiro to Toko for convenience, and then
Kamekona's nisei father, Daniel, in turn, became known to his peers as Dan Toku
Thus, in a typically Hawaiian way, the family's legal name passed from usage.
"Then when World War II broke out, and my dad was working for the U.S. Corps
of Engineers. The boss talked about the rumors of internment camps taking him
away, so he took his mother's maiden name of Kamekona and right there the name
of Sato died. My father's brothers changed their names too--they also didn't
want to go to the camps."
[Morita] and I first met about 11 years ago during the filming of 'Midway.'
There were four of us local guys--pineapples-, that were flown over to work
on the motion picture, but Pat made us feel right at home. He really took
care of us. Later
we worked together on "Farewell to Manzanar" and we've kept up
Though it's a true story, Kamekona was, with his handsome and easy-going style,
the kind of actor who could make you believe almost anything. -That's probably
why, in an earlier career as a life insurance salesman, he was able to sell
$3 million worth of policies his first year!.
Then he was spotted by a local casting agent. That was 16 years before Karate
Kid II, and he's worked steadily as an actor ever since --becoming one of the
busiest actors in Hawaii "When I first went out for 'Hawaii Five-O,' I had zero
experience," he says with a laugh, "and I joked with the director that my only
acting experience was being married for 10 years!"
In spite of his lack of training, Kamekona soon found himself working no less
than nine or 10 shows for every year that "Hawaii Five-O" was on the air. At
one point, he was even offered a regular continuing part on the popular series,
but turned it down --in part, to keep a hand in his successful insurance business,
but also to enjoy the challenge of taking on so many different acting roles.
"I've been lucky, " Kamekona admitted, "because at first I had the kind of Hawaiian
face that people associated with Hawaii, and I could handle a line. Then they
got to see thatI could do other things too."
After graduation from Kamehameha School, young Kamekona became one of the first
Hawaiian boys to attend Brigham Young University, on a football scholarship.
For a while, he went on a Mormon mission from BYU to Japan, his first real acquaintance
with his ancestral culture. Later he enrolled at the University of Hawaii and
got into business.
"The Karate Kid Part II" was not the first time he has worked opposite Noriyuki
"Pat" Morita, the Academy Award- nominated actor who portrays Miyagi, the sage
karate master and Kamekona and Morita both spoke with great affection for their
Kamekona had previously had notable roles on shows like "Barnaby Jones", "The
Rockford Files" and "Magnum, P.l.", and later went on to appear in many other
TV and movie roles. He sadly died on the 2nd May 1996.
Tomita Born Okinawa
first glance, it is easy to see how Tamlyn Tomita, a virtual acting novice,
still managed to garner the plum role of Ralph Macchio's young Okinawan girlfriend,
Watching her sensitive and romantic portrayal on screen, it's hard to believe
that Tomita, the 1984 Nisei Week Queen from Los Angeles and reigning Miss Nikkei
International, had no acting ambitions prior to being cast in the movie. She's
exotically beautiful and tremendously talented.
"It's been quite a whirlwind; it happened so fast," the young actress admitted
at the time of the movies' release. "But I've learned a lot and it's really
opened up a whole wide new world for me."
Tomita, who was actually born in Okinawa (her mother is Okinawan-Filipino; her
father a Japanese-American), moved to Los Angeles when she was very young. While
a student at U.C.L.A. studying history and mass communications, Tomita received
an unexpected invitation to audition for a major motion picture from Helen Funai,
a former beauty queen herself with connections to the film industry
owe a lot to working with professionals like Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita,
my co-stars. They taught me that a lot of acting has to do with listening,
reacting to the other character. It means putting yourself into the emotions
of the person you're portraying, not .just delivering lines. All the same,
I haven't set any goals for more movies after this first one because I've
got my education and I've got alternatives."
"Helen called to say that the casting director for a new film called 'The Karate
Kid Part ll' had gotten in touch, knowing that she knows a lot of Asian girls
in town. She called just one day after I returned from winning the International
Japanese beauty contest in Brazil. They met me, I took some screen tests, then
flew to New York to meet the director, John Avildsen After some acting lessons
for a few weeks, I was on the set working.
knew it would be competitive, but just like the beauty pageants I took it one
step at a time."
Though Tomita had never acted before, she and Macchio make an excellent team.
Her performance is a natural, artless one and her flawless beauty is enhanced
by an innocence that comes across on screen. Although there's a side of her
character, Kumiko, who's sweet and nice, there's another that Tomita hopes will
break the Hollywood stereotypes of Asian women.
"When you see the big fight scene," she comments about the fierce battle Macchio
engages in for the finale, "you'll see that she gets in there and does
something. She's only 17, but she's tough and independent --a fighter. That's
not the stereotype at all"
More cast bio's and info will be added all the time. Please keep checking back