James Yoshio Yoda passed away on January 13, 2023, in Fullerton, Calif. He was born in Tokyo, Japan on March 31, 1934. He was predeceased by his son, Edward Yuji Yoda. While he was studying law at Keio University in Japan, he was encouraged by an acquaintance to pursue an acting career. He discontinued his studies and went to the United States and enrolled in 1958 at the film school at the University of Southern California, from where he graduated with a degree in cinema arts.
In 1961 the school was asked if they had anyone who was bilingual in Japanese and English. He was then cast in a significant role in the movie “The Horizontal Lieutenant.” His performance led him to be cast as “Fuji,” part of the ensemble cast of the popular TV series “McHale’s Navy” and the two follow-up movies.
After “McHale’s” ended its run, he had some additional credits in acting and as an associate producer but moved on to private industry and became an assistant vice president of Toyota Hawaii.
After retirement he moved to Fullerton, where he lived until his passing.
Per his request, no services will be held.