Full Name:

Rokuro Kuwahara

Occupation / Title:

, , , , ,

Date of birth:


Date of death:



Japan; U.S.A.


Bob Kuwahara was born in Tokyo, Japan on August 12, 1901. His family moved to the United States in 1910.

He was a Japanese-American animator and writer who is best known for creating the Terrytoons character, Hashimoto-san, a mouse who is a judo instructor in Japan. He worked at Disney and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer before he was forcibly placed in the Heart Mountain internment camp for three years. He was released in 1945.

Kuwahara died in Larchmont, New York on December 10, 1964.

Family and early life

Kuwahara moved to California with his family in 1910, at 9 years old. He then went to New York to work as a commercial artist, but he moved back to California after the Wall Street stock market crash in 1929.

He was married to Julia Kuwahara, a music teacher, and they had two sons: Denis and Michel.

Career outline

Kuwahara moved to California and got his first job at Disney as an animator and then storywriter. In 1937, he left Disney and began work at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as an animator and an uncredited background artist until 1942, where he was taken to a Japanese internment camp near Heart Mountain in Park County, Wyoming.

After World War II, he was released from the camp. He moved to New York and began working at Terrytoons in 1950, where he worked as an animator, layout artist, and storyboard artist. He rose up to the position of director for some episodes on Terrytoons cartoons. In 1959, the studio debuted a new character, a talking mouse named Hashimoto-san, co-created by Kuwahara and Eli Bauer, and the short Hashimoto-san was released theatrically in the same year. A series of animated shorts featuring Hashimoto-san was on The Hector Heathcote Show, beginning in 1959. Kuwahara remained working at Terrytoons until his death in 1964.


Amidi, Amid. “Discover The Pioneering Japanese-American Animation Artists of the Golden Age.” Cartoon Brew, 2008, Online.

“Bob Kuwahara.” IMDb, n.d.

Hotes, Catherine Munroe. “Bob Kuwahara and Hashimoto-san.” Nishikata Film Review, 2008, Online.

“Japanese-American Internee Data File: Robert Kuwahara.” National Archives and Records Administration, 1988-89, Online.

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