Place of birth:

Kobe, Japan:


Mako was born in Kobe, Japan, the son of noted children's book author and illustrator Taro Yashima. His parents moved to the United States when he was a small child. He joined them there after World War II, in 1949, joining the military in the 1950s. He became a naturalized American citizen in 1956. When Mako first joined his parents in the USA, he studied architecture. During his military service, he discovered his theatrical talent, and trained at the Pasadena Community Playhouse. Mako was married to actress Shizuko Hoshi with whom he had two daughters (both are actresses) and three grandchildren.

Film Credits

Rise: Blood Hunter (2007)
as Poe
TMNT (2007)
as Splinter (voice)
The Slanted Screen (2006)
as Himself
Bulletproof Monk (2003)
as Mr. Kojima
Cruel Game (2002)
as Straw Hat
Samurai Jack: The Premiere Movie (2001)
as Aku
Pearl Harbor (2001)
as Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto
Rugrats in Paris: The Movie (2000)
as Mr. Yamaguchi (voice)
Conan Unchained: The Making of 'Conan' (2000)
as The Wizard (archive footage)
中国の鳥人 (1998)
as Shen
Seven Years in Tibet (1997)
as Kungo Tsarong
Sworn to Justice (1996)
as Mr. Young
Balance of Power (1996)
as Todo Matsumoto
Midnight Man (1995)
as Buun Som
A Dangerous Place (1995)
as Sensei
Crying Freeman (1995)
as Shido Shimazaki
Highlander III: The Sorcerer (1994)
as Nakano
Red Sun Rising (1994)
as Buntoro Iga
Rising Sun (1993)
as Yoshida-san
RoboCop 3 (1993)
as Kanemitsu
(生)盗聴リポート 痴話 (1993)
Sidekicks (1992)
as Mr. Lee
My Samurai (1992)
The Perfect Weapon (1991)
as Kim
Pacific Heights (1990)
as Toshio Watanabe
Taking Care of Business (1990)
as Mr. Sakamoto
Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes (1990)
as Sgt. Moritaki
Fatal Mission (1990)
as Trang
Murder in Paradise (1990)
as Capt. Kilalo
An Unremarkable Life (1989)
as Max Chin
The Wash (1988)
as Nobu Matsumoto
Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988)
as Jimmy
Silent Assassins (1988)
as Oyama
Armed Response (1986)
as Akira Tanaka
P.O.W. The Escape (1986)
as Capt. Vinh
Kung Fu: The Movie (1986)
as The Manchu
Conan the Destroyer (1984)
as Akiro 'The Wizard'
Girls Of The White Orchid (1983)
as Mori
Testament (1983)
as Mike
The Last Ninja (1983)
as Aitaro Sakura
The Nightingale (1983)
as Gardener / Minister
Conan the Barbarian (1982)
as The Wizard / Narrator
The Bushido Blade (1981)
as Enjiro
An Eye for an Eye (1981)
as James Chan
Under the Rainbow (1981)
as Nakomuri
The Big Brawl (1980)
as Herbert
When Hell Was in Session (1979)
as Maj. Bai
Columbo: Murder Under Glass (1978)
as Kanji Ousu
Pacific Overtures (1976)
as Reciter / Shogun / Jonathan Goble
Farewell to Manzanar (1976)
as Fukimoto
The Killer Elite (1975)
as Yuen Chung
Prisoners (1975)
as Sgt. Nguyen
Judge Dee and the Monastery Murders (1974)
as Tao Gan
The Green Hornet (1974)
as Low Sing
The Island at the Top of the World (1974)
as Oomiak
Yokahama Mama (1972)
as Rooster (voice)
沈黙 SILENCE (1971)
as Kichijiro (as Mako Iwamatsu)
Fools (1970)
as Psychiatrist
The Hawaiians (1970)
as Mun Ki
The Challenge (1970)
as Yuro
The Great Bank Robbery (1969)
as Secret Agent Fong
The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell (1968)
as Calvin Coolidge Ishimura
The Sand Pebbles (1966)
as Po-han
The Ugly Dachshund (1966)
as Kenji
McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force (1965)
as Japanese Submarine Captain (uncredited)
Never So Few (1959)
as Soldier in Hospital (uncredited)

Production Credits

沈黙 SILENCE (1971)
Production Design