Tetsu Komai

Tetsu Komai (駒井哲, Komai Tetsu)[1] (April 23, 1894 – August 10, 1970),[2] also known as Tetsuo Komai, was a Japanese-American actor, known for his minor roles in Hollywood films.


Born in Kumamoto, Kyushu, Komai had small parts in over 50 films from the 1920s until the mid-1960s. In his early films, Tetsu, who was usually called on to play Chinese characters, was often described with derogatory terms such as "Chinaman,"[3]. He played the villain in many of his films.[4]

He emigrated to the United States in December 1907, arriving at the Port of Seattle; he lived in Seattle for several years after this initial immigration. During the Second World War, the actor, his wife, and their children were interned with groups of other Japanese-Americans and Japanese resident aliens at the Gila River War Relocation Center in Arizona from August 27, 1942 to November 3, 1945.[5]

He died in Gardena, California of congestive heart failure, aged 76.

Partial filmography


  1. "謎の俳優 駒井哲 - ケペル先生のブログ". ケペル先生のブログ. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  2. California, Death Index, 1940-1997
  3. Time (August 22, 1932)
  4. Sunday Arts & Leisure Section, The New York Times (December 1, 1940) p. X-4
  5. Japanese Americans Relocated During World War II; U.S., Final Accountability Rosters of Evacuees at Relocation Centers, 1942-1946
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